Abstract

Background: Optimizing recruitment efficiency is an important strategy to address the resource limitations that typically constrain clinical research. Surprisingly, little empiric data exist to guide research teams attempting to recruit a difficult population into similar studies. Our objective was to investigate factors associated with enrollment into an advance care planning interventional trial. Methods: This study used secondary data of patients with advanced cancer receiving treatment at an academic medical center in central Pennsylvania who were referred to a randomized controlled trial of an advance care planning intervention. Enrolled participants were compared to nonparticipants with regard to age, gender, race, season of recruitment, elapsed time between recruitment stage, distance to study site, and number of recruitment calls. Results: Of the 1988 patients referred, 200 participants were enrolled yielding a recruitment efficiency of 10%. Two-thirds of all enrolled participants were recruited with 1 or less phone calls, whereas only 5% were enrolled after 3 calls. There were no statistically significant differences in enrollment based on gender (P =.88) or elapsed time between recruitment contacts (P =.22). However, nonparticipants were slightly older (P =.02). Conclusions: Our finding that individuals were more likely to enroll within the first 3 phone calls suggests that recruitment efforts should be focused on making initial contacts with potential participants, rather than continuing attempts to those who are unable to be contacted easily. Researchers could optimize their recruitment strategy by periodically performing similar analyses, comparing differences between participants and nonparticipants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Advance Care Planning
Terminal Care
Randomized Controlled Trials
Research
Research Personnel
Population
Neoplasms
Therapeutics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

@article{52db25a79677452bab3365fe95d94b42,
title = "An Analysis of Recruitment Efficiency for an End-of-Life Advance Care Planning Randomized Controlled Trial",
abstract = "Background: Optimizing recruitment efficiency is an important strategy to address the resource limitations that typically constrain clinical research. Surprisingly, little empiric data exist to guide research teams attempting to recruit a difficult population into similar studies. Our objective was to investigate factors associated with enrollment into an advance care planning interventional trial. Methods: This study used secondary data of patients with advanced cancer receiving treatment at an academic medical center in central Pennsylvania who were referred to a randomized controlled trial of an advance care planning intervention. Enrolled participants were compared to nonparticipants with regard to age, gender, race, season of recruitment, elapsed time between recruitment stage, distance to study site, and number of recruitment calls. Results: Of the 1988 patients referred, 200 participants were enrolled yielding a recruitment efficiency of 10{\%}. Two-thirds of all enrolled participants were recruited with 1 or less phone calls, whereas only 5{\%} were enrolled after 3 calls. There were no statistically significant differences in enrollment based on gender (P =.88) or elapsed time between recruitment contacts (P =.22). However, nonparticipants were slightly older (P =.02). Conclusions: Our finding that individuals were more likely to enroll within the first 3 phone calls suggests that recruitment efforts should be focused on making initial contacts with potential participants, rather than continuing attempts to those who are unable to be contacted easily. Researchers could optimize their recruitment strategy by periodically performing similar analyses, comparing differences between participants and nonparticipants.",
author = "Stewart, {Renee R.} and Dimmock, {Anne E.F.} and Michael Green and {Van Scoy}, Lauren and Schubart, {Jane R.} and Chengwu Yang and Elana Farace and Rebecca Bascom and Benjamin Levi",
year = "2019",
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doi = "10.1177/1049909118785158",
language = "English (US)",
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journal = "American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine",
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T1 - An Analysis of Recruitment Efficiency for an End-of-Life Advance Care Planning Randomized Controlled Trial

AU - Stewart, Renee R.

AU - Dimmock, Anne E.F.

AU - Green, Michael

AU - Van Scoy, Lauren

AU - Schubart, Jane R.

AU - Yang, Chengwu

AU - Farace, Elana

AU - Bascom, Rebecca

AU - Levi, Benjamin

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Background: Optimizing recruitment efficiency is an important strategy to address the resource limitations that typically constrain clinical research. Surprisingly, little empiric data exist to guide research teams attempting to recruit a difficult population into similar studies. Our objective was to investigate factors associated with enrollment into an advance care planning interventional trial. Methods: This study used secondary data of patients with advanced cancer receiving treatment at an academic medical center in central Pennsylvania who were referred to a randomized controlled trial of an advance care planning intervention. Enrolled participants were compared to nonparticipants with regard to age, gender, race, season of recruitment, elapsed time between recruitment stage, distance to study site, and number of recruitment calls. Results: Of the 1988 patients referred, 200 participants were enrolled yielding a recruitment efficiency of 10%. Two-thirds of all enrolled participants were recruited with 1 or less phone calls, whereas only 5% were enrolled after 3 calls. There were no statistically significant differences in enrollment based on gender (P =.88) or elapsed time between recruitment contacts (P =.22). However, nonparticipants were slightly older (P =.02). Conclusions: Our finding that individuals were more likely to enroll within the first 3 phone calls suggests that recruitment efforts should be focused on making initial contacts with potential participants, rather than continuing attempts to those who are unable to be contacted easily. Researchers could optimize their recruitment strategy by periodically performing similar analyses, comparing differences between participants and nonparticipants.

AB - Background: Optimizing recruitment efficiency is an important strategy to address the resource limitations that typically constrain clinical research. Surprisingly, little empiric data exist to guide research teams attempting to recruit a difficult population into similar studies. Our objective was to investigate factors associated with enrollment into an advance care planning interventional trial. Methods: This study used secondary data of patients with advanced cancer receiving treatment at an academic medical center in central Pennsylvania who were referred to a randomized controlled trial of an advance care planning intervention. Enrolled participants were compared to nonparticipants with regard to age, gender, race, season of recruitment, elapsed time between recruitment stage, distance to study site, and number of recruitment calls. Results: Of the 1988 patients referred, 200 participants were enrolled yielding a recruitment efficiency of 10%. Two-thirds of all enrolled participants were recruited with 1 or less phone calls, whereas only 5% were enrolled after 3 calls. There were no statistically significant differences in enrollment based on gender (P =.88) or elapsed time between recruitment contacts (P =.22). However, nonparticipants were slightly older (P =.02). Conclusions: Our finding that individuals were more likely to enroll within the first 3 phone calls suggests that recruitment efforts should be focused on making initial contacts with potential participants, rather than continuing attempts to those who are unable to be contacted easily. Researchers could optimize their recruitment strategy by periodically performing similar analyses, comparing differences between participants and nonparticipants.

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