Table 1

Methods of participant recruitment and outcome

MethodsResponseDifficulty incurred
Method 1: MaBEL posters placed in specified areas of hospitals and GP surgeriesNo responseNA
Method 2: leaflets distributed in hospitals after antenatal classesReceived no response from the South Asians and little response from Caucasian participantsThe majority of women were identified late in gestation (>36 weeks) when routine blood sampling is not performed. Thus, these women become ineligible for inclusion.
Method 3: Direct approaches to potential participants in antenatal clinicsVery good response. Fewer than 19% of those approached declined to take part (see later).Gave consent but participants sometimes forgot or neglected to give a request slip to their midwife/phlebotomist to collect blood for MaBEL.
  • GP, general practitioner; MaBEL, Mother's and Baby's Exposure to Lead; NA, not available