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Table 1 Clinical Trials Unit survey on recruitment and retention - routinely used methods (with or without formal evaluation)

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

Category Examples (recruitment) Examples (retention)
Patient contact Patient information (appropriate design and translation) Additional contacts (reminders, newsletters, feedback for patients, and websites)
Promotion (newsletters, advertisements, presentations, events, press release, and community sessions)
Patient convenience   Flexible appointments
Reducing research burden (shortened assessment scales and online data collection)
Support for recruiters Presentations and training about recruitment issues to recruiting staff Presentations and training about retention issues to recruiting staff
Monitoring and systems Recruitment staff reminders (computer pop ups) Tracking patients (flagging, contacts for change of address, and collection of multiple contacts)
Use of existing registers (mail shots and screening notes) Reminders (calendars, alert cards, and ongoing contacts with control or wait list participants)
Reducing burden (randomizing online in real-time, phone number for queries, and simple case report forms)  
Incentives Targets (site recruitment targets, feedback, and competition among sites) Incentives (gifts for sites, co-authorship for good retention, and monetary incentives)
Incentives (gifts for sites, co-authorship for good recruiters, and monetary incentives)
Design Relevance of study design Options other than complete withdrawal
Piloting Patient and public involvement
Changing protocol (widening criteria)  
Patient and public involvement
Resources Site resources  
Additional resources (such as networks)
Human factors Relationships (face-to-face initiation visit, regular contact with recruitment staff, site champions, and ongoing relationships between trials) Relationship (support for patient between visits, handwriting envelopes, Christmas/birthday cards, and thanking participants)