Strategies to enhance recruitment of rural-dwelling older people into community-based trials
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Strategies to enhance recruitment of rural-dwelling older people into community-based trials

Sakuntala Anuruang PhD candidate, Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Patricia Mary Davidson Dean, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD, US
Debra Jackson Professor of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Louise Hickman Senior lecturer, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Aim To describe strategies that can enhance the recruitment of rural-dwelling older people into clinical trials.

Background Recruitment to studies can be time-consuming and challenging. Moreover, there are challenges associated with recruiting older people, particularly those living in rural areas. Nevertheless, an adequate sample size is crucial to the validity of randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

Data sources The authors draw on the literature and their personal experiences, to present a range of flexible and inclusive strategies that have been successfully used to recruit older people into clinical trials.

Review methods This paper describes attempts to improve recruitment of rural-dwelling, older Thai people to a clinical trial.

Discussion To attract potential participants, researchers should consider minimising the burden of their study and maximising its benefits or convenience for participants. Three factors that may influence participation rates are: personal factors of participants, researchers’ personal attributes, and protocol factors. In addition, three important strategies contribute to improving recruitment: understanding the culture of the research setting, identifying the ‘gatekeepers’ in the setting and building trust with stakeholders.

Conclusion Even though the study covered did not recruit a large number of participants, these understandings were crucial and enabled recruitment of a sufficient number of participants in a reasonable timeframe.

Implications for practice/research These strategies may be of use in rural settings and with different communities including urban communities.

Nurse Researcher. 23, 1, 40-43. doi: 10.7748/nr.23.1.40.e1345


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 14 August 2014

Accepted: 05 March 2015

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