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Table 1 The implementation of four recruitment steps in the CTA tool and possible benefits

From: A clinical trial alert tool to recruit large patient samples and assess selection bias in general practice research

Step Definition Example Benefit
Identification All possible study
participants are
Clinical trial alert (CTA)
automated recognition running
in the background of the practice
computer software to filter out all
women ≥60 and men ≥70
No patients are missed
Net sample automatically documented
No effort required for the practice staff
Eligibility check Specifically defined
inclusion and exclusion
criteria are applied to
the net sample
Practice staff (nurse or doctor)
reviews patient data for
exclusion criteria and checks
appropriate box on screen
Practice staff can document
exclusion criteria on the
practice computer by making
one click
Contact Eligible participants are
informed about the study
and are asked to
Practice staff introduces
the study and asks for
patient consent
Patient response is documented
using practice computer
Practice staff can easily
document all patient contacts
using the practice computer
Study centre can monitor activity
Enrolment Patients follow through
on their intention to
participate in the study
Baseline osteoporosis survey
is filled in using the
practice computer
Pseudonymised data set is
immediately transferred to
the study centre
No patients lost between
the GP practice and study
All survey data is
immediately available