Interventions to improve recruitment and retention in clinical trials: a survey and workshop to assess current practice and future priorities

Bower, Peter, Brueton, Valerie, Gamble, Carrol ORCID: 0000-0002-3021-1955, Treweek, Shaun, Smith, Catrin Tudur, Young, Bridget ORCID: 0000-0001-6041-9901 and Williamson, Paula ORCID: 0000-0001-9802-6636
(2014) Interventions to improve recruitment and retention in clinical trials: a survey and workshop to assess current practice and future priorities. TRIALS, 15 (1). 399-.

[thumbnail of Bower Trials 2014.pdf] Text
Bower Trials 2014.pdf - Unspecified

Download (353kB)


<h4>Background</h4>Despite significant investment in infrastructure many trials continue to face challenges in recruitment and retention. We argue that insufficient focus has been placed on the development and testing of recruitment and retention interventions.<h4>Methods</h4>In this current paper, we summarize existing reviews about interventions to improve recruitment and retention. We report survey data from Clinical Trials Units in the United Kingdom to indicate the range of interventions used by these units to encourage recruitment and retention. We present the views of participants in a recent workshop and a priority list of recruitment interventions for evaluation (determined by voting among workshop participants). We also discuss wider issues concerning the testing of recruitment interventions.<h4>Results</h4>Methods used to encourage recruitment and retention were categorized as: patient contact, patient convenience, support for recruiters, monitoring and systems, incentives, design, resources, and human factors. Interventions felt to merit investigation by respondents fell into three categories: training site staff, communication with patients, and incentives.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Significant resources continue to be invested into clinical trials and other high quality studies, but recruitment remains a significant challenge. Adoption of innovative methods to develop, test, and implement recruitment interventions are required.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Trials, Recruitment, Retention
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2014 16:54
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 11:52
DOI: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-399
Publisher's Statement : © 2014 Bower et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
Related URLs: