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The target population from which you will draw your study sample must be identified early in the planning process, since recruitment can be a time-consuming process. If you are using a preexperimental design, only one group of study participants will need to be identified and recruited. Quasi-experimental and experimental designs will require identifying a control group in addition and determining what the control group will receive. To identify a study sample, you will need to:
- Determine where you will obtain the participants (e.g., what program sites, what cities or jurisdictions, etc.),
- Define any applicable eligibility criteria (e.g., participants must be between the ages of 21 and 55, participants must not be receiving other treatments for the condition), and
- Build partnerships, if they do not already exist, with the agencies and personnel who can grant you access to the population.
Study participants generally are not recruited until the necessary approvals are received for the study.
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