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.

 

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