Top 3 Tips To Improve Your Research Participation

Learn from our 20 years of experience

HUTS 2 or the Healthcare UTilisation and Seroprevalence Repeat Survey has got off to a roaring start, with our self-given target of participants sampled per day exceeded by 606.67% on average. Learn from our 20 years of experience and see how you can also boost those participation numbers in your research!

Step 1: Team Building

Do team building exercises with your study team. This skips the fighting and awkwardness that characterises the storming phase of a team coming together for the first time. If you look below, you can see some examples of the games, and activities we did together. We have found that getting communication going and having fun early on not only makes work more enjoyable for our teams, but translates to how people work together.

Step 2: Train on Sales Techniques

Train your team on sales and marketing techniques. Get your participants to better understand and get excited about your study by teaching your team presentation skills they can use to promote the benefits of taking part in your study when in the field.

Step 3: Pay a Set Salary

If you decide not to do the fieldwork/data collection yourself, and you are going to have paid team members. Pay your team a set salary, with prizes only used to recognize outstanding achievement amongst your team.

When studies pay their teams on commission and link getting food for the month to achieving study goals (e.g. collecting 30 surveys a week per team) this incentives cheating as people feel they need to cheat in order to survive each month. This is especially true if you make getting certain numbers necessary for team leaders to get paid. They will then be inclined to turn a blind eye to cheating in their teams because they want to get paid.

To promote the trustworthiness of your study, Epicentre recommends conducting quality control assessments. We send a high quality trusted team to randomly revisit households to see if the study was preformed appropriately, this picks up any dishonestly amongst study staff.

We also advise doing a little award ceremony at the start of each working week. Pick the top 3 teams from the past week with the highest clean data numbers. Then give them the chance to spin the wheel to determine their prize. This starts the week on a competitive yet friendly high that makes your teams excited to get back to the office after the weekend and to go into the field to collect the most data, so they can win the next week.

Some Context on this project

HUTS 2 is a big COVID-19 research study which is taking place in Mitchells Plain & Edendale. Epicentre is conducting fieldwork for our partners, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), and Genesis Analytics.

We are doing a questionnaire with invited people that answered our questions during the last HUTS wave. We’ll also be taking a small amount of blood from them to find out if they have had COVID-19 in the past, and very importantly what their current HIV status & viral load is.

This is so crucial because during COVID-19, the HIV pandemic in South Africa has continued to affect millions of people across our country. Many people struggled to get their ARVs as lockdowns, pay and job cuts made getting to clinics difficult. So it’s important to know how this has impacted many people living with this disease.

Learn More About Our Studies

If you are conducting your research in Southern Africa or beyond, Epicentre can help you get great data. We have been conducting successful research since 2001. Draw on our extensive experience now.

Like Our Articles?

If you want to read more articles like this, join our monthly newsletter! We release insider info on what the health research industry is taking a look at each month.

Book with Epicentre

For 20 years Epicentre has been fighting South African’s infectious diseases, and now we’re taking on COVID-19! We are a company founded on a vision, ending disease in South Africa! So we believe in making an IMPACT.

We are an independent organization that is committed to creating a positive impact on health & wellness for all in South Africa. We want to close the gap between unscreened, undiagnosed, and uncontrolled HIV & COVID-19 infections as well as other chronic diseases for all South Africans.

By booking your tests with Epicentre, you are supporting a real local company that has worked for 20 years in all 9 provinces, from Pollsmoor prison to Constantia; & you’re getting a gold standard service that experts trust!

Epicentre Special Deals

We offer free and heavily discounted tests as they are subsidized by research organizations that are looking to use this anonymous information to investigate various research questions, like can people test themselves for COVID?

10% Off All Walk-In Lab Tests

Only for pensioners at all branches.

Free Blood Pressure Tests

With all Walk-In Lab tests

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen/infection testing

R50 pensioners discount!

Epicentre offers

Walk-In Lab

Please note that our packages are just a guide, you can pick any of these tests in these packages, add extra tests or take out any tests. Choose what suits your needs!

Women’s Wellness Package (Foundation)

Women’s Wellness Package (+40yrs)

Men’s Wellness Package (Foundation)

Men’s Wellness Package (+40yrs)

Arthritis Package

Athletes Total Wellness Package

Diabetes Monitoring Package

Diabetes Screening Package

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Package

Comprehensive Weight Loss Package

Kidney Package

Liver & Pancreas Package

Long COVID Package

HIV Monitoring Package

HIV Screening Package

Iron Deficiency & Anaemia Package

Menopause Package

Women’s Fertility Test Package

Men’s Fertility Test Package

STI Screening Package

Thyroid Screening Package

Laboratory Typhoid Test


Measles Test Package

Drive Through

Drive-Thru COVID Tests

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen/infection testing

(R250 with a R50 pensioners discount!)

Drive-Thru COVID-19 PCR Testing


Home based COVID-19 PCR Testing

(R1150 + travel over 50kms)

Rapid COVID-19 Antibody Tests

On Sale! (R150)

Express International Flight Testing

(PCR Flight certificate in 12hrs)


Cape Town Only

Extra Express International Flight Testing

(PCR Flight certificate in 4-5hrs)


Cape Town Only

International Flight Testing Package

(PCR + Antiviral Mask)


Contact Us

Ready to talk? Contact us today for a free consultation!