Most nurses involved in randomised control trials (RCTs) will agree that recruiting participants to participate in a trial can be extremely difficult.
This 2018 systematic review [Strategies to improive recruitment to randomised trials (Review)] thus aimed to identify strategies to improve trial recruitment - to benefit both trialists and health research.
Key messages from this review are
There was high-certainty evidence for three methods to improve recruitment, two of which are effective:
1. Telling people what they are receiving in the trial rather than not telling them improves recruitment.
2. Phoning people who do not respond to a postal invitation is also effective (although it is not certain this works as well in all trials).
3. Using a tailored, user-testing approach to develop participant information leaflets makes little or no difference to recruitment.
Of the 72 strategies tested, only 7 involved more than one study.
Thus more studies are needed to understand which, and whether, strategies work or not.