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Table 4 Summary of recommendations for future multi-centre collaborative studies with longitudinal follow-up

From: Challenges of one-year longitudinal follow-up of a prospective, observational cohort study using an anonymised database: recommendations for trainee research collaboratives

NumberRecommendation to improve completeness of longitudinal follow-up
1. Study Design Recommendations
1.1Linked patient identifiers should be kept in a central repository (for example a REDCap system) if Caldicott Guardian approval is given to minimise loss to follow-up
2. Study Delivery Recommendations
2.1Included at least one team member with previous experience in trainee research collaborative projects in each data collection team, where possible.
2.2Having junior doctors paired to students in data collection teams improve centre participation and data completeness rates. Where this is not possible, at least one senior medical student with previous collaborative audit experience should be part of the data collection team.
2.3A network of regional leads are useful to monitor local progress and feedback to steering committee
2.4Tracking regional variation in performance through the study and targeting specific efforts to improve follow-up and data completeness in these areas may increase data quality and maximise efficiency.
2.5In high-volume centres where achieving high data completeness may be burdensome, consider permitting involvement additional team members to provide support.