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Table 3 Steps taken by research teams to optimise recruitment and interviewees’ suggestions for improvement

From: Factors influencing recruitment to research: qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of research teams

Strategy Techniques employed Suggestions for improvement
Preparation and planning • Assess feasibility before embarking on a study • Create shared research databases of potentially eligible patients
• Pre-screen clinic notes to identify potentially eligible patients • Increase speed of ethical approval process
• Establish patient identification centres in surrounding hospitals
• Ensure research nurses are available to discuss study during patient’s clinic appointment
Engendering patient support • Research introduced by patient’s doctor • Increase public awareness of clinical research
• Advertise the study, but also approach patients individually • Opt-out systems
• Explain importance of clinical research for improvements in healthcare • More accessible participant information sheets
• Increase use of information technology
• Discuss the multidisciplinary team involved in research • Support patients without English as their main language
• Reduce time commitment required and increase flexibility of appointment times
• Social events for trial participants
• Increase financial support for participants
Collaboration with clinicians • Establish integrated clinical and academic teams • Greater collaboration with primary care clinicians
• Hold research meetings and provide regular updates and feedback
• Enlist a dedicated study co-ordinator
  • Give prizes for successful recruitment