Improving the recruitment of primary care patients to clinical research studies
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Improving the recruitment of primary care patients to clinical research studies

Gez Richell Research Sister, Newcastle P3 Clinical Research Unit, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the issues with recruiting participants to research in primary care

  • To learn about the common problems experienced by researchers conducting studies in primary care

  • To explore strategies for improving the recruitment and retention of participants to research in primary care

This article explores the barriers to primary care research, and considers what is required to conduct research more effectively and to widen opportunities for patients to participate. The literature was reviewed for evidence-based strategies to increase recruitment to clinical trials, focusing on primary care and cross-border collaboration. The review established that several factors need to be in place in primary care to deliver research more effectively. These include adequate funding and resources, collaborative working, early involvement with primary care and clinician engagement, a commitment to research, early feasibility planning, patient education and empowerment, and creative ways to recruit and retain patients in studies.

Opportunities for primary care staff to become involved in clinical research are expanding and support is available through local National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Networks. Engagement from GPs, nurse practitioners and general practice nurses is crucial for clinical research to become a care option in primary and secondary care.

Primary Health Care. 31, 2, 22-28. doi: 10.7748/phc.2020.e1681

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Richell G (2020) Improving the recruitment of primary care patients to clinical research studies. Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2020.e1681

Published online: 02 December 2020

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