Skip to main content
  • Oral presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

A survey of facilitators and barriers to recruitment to the magnetic trial


Recruitment to randomised trials with children is challenging. It is imperative to understand the factors that boost or hinder recruitment to clinical trials. We conducted a survey of facilitators and barriers to recruitment to the MAGNETIC trial, using a web-based tool previously developed (1).


MAGNETIC is a multi-centre randomised trial of nebulised magnesium in acute severe asthma, recruiting over 500 children from 30 UK sites. Recruiters were asked to grade a list of factors from -3 to +3 depending on whether the factor was perceived as a strong, intermediate, or weak barrier (-3 to -1) or facilitator (+1 to+3) and (0) if thought to be not applicable. Free text responses were invited on strategies applied to counter the identified barriers and suggestions on future reorganisation of similar trials. We plan to look for correlation between responses and calibrated recruitment performance at sites.


The commonly identified facilitators were motivation and experience of study team, effective communication, presence of designated research nurses, good trial management, trial publicity and clarity in presentation of trial information. The commonly identified barriers were clinical workload, shift patterns, time and setting of consent, GCP training, non-availability of research staff out of hours and parents' concerns about their child taking an experimental medicine.


This study highlights important generic and trial-specific facilitators and barriers to recruitment to a paediatric trial in the acute setting. This information can be very useful for successful conduct of future clinical trials with children.


  1. Kaur G, Smyth RL, Williamson PR: Developing a survey of barriers and facilitators to recruitment in randomized controlled trials. Trials. 2012, 13: 218-10.1186/1745-6215-13-218.

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to 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 cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kaur, G., Smyth, R., Powell, C. et al. A survey of facilitators and barriers to recruitment to the magnetic trial. Trials 14 (Suppl 1), O60 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: