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Table 3 Pros (positive aspects) and cons (negative aspects) for each recruitment strategy tested in the study

From: Recruitment challenges in clinical research including cancer patients and caregivers

  Pros Cons
On-site recruitment by the researcher Easy to register everyone contacted Time consuming for the researcher compared to the other strategies
Possible to document reasons for non-participation Researcher must approach many persons and potentially accept rejections
Trust between patient and researcher Difficult to know who is eligible
Personal relation between researcher and potential participant Difficult to know who had already received the information
Relying on providers at hospital Information given to patients from someone they trust Lack of time for the health personnel
Easy to screen who is eligible Forgetting to mention the study to patients
  Confusion about the recruitment
Did not prioritize the recruitment
Patient/caregiver must sign and return form with approval to being contacted
Dependent on one extra person in the recruitment process
No information about how many received the brochures
No information about the reasons for not participating
Advertising in newspaper Information reaches large number of people Low response rate
More genuinely interested and serious about participation Patient/caregiver must contact the researcher team
Less effort for the researcher No information about how many read the information
  No information about the reasons for not participating
Internet and social media Can be tailor specified to certain persons Too much information on the web, might be blinded to the information
Internet commonly used Difficult to screen what is serious and what is scam
Future-oriented approach Patient/caregiver must contact the researcher team
Reaches many individuals No information about how many read the information
Less effort for the researcher No information about the reasons for not participating
Information presented at a rehab center Trust between the employee and the potential participant Forgot to inform about the study
Easy to screen who is eligible Confusion about the recruitment
Less effort for the researcher Did not prioritize the recruitment
  Already received the information at the hospital
Patient/caregiver must sign and return form with approval to being contacted
No information about how many received the information
No information about the reasons for not participating
Routine care letters strategy Contact outside of the clinic environment, in their familiar surroundings. Many did not answer the phone.
More informed prior to the call from the researcher Many had not read the brochure since it was attached to information about startup for treatment
Potential participants did not have to remember to contact the researcher Time consuming (compared to the opt-in strategies)
Precision of targeting a specific population  
Easy to document who had been contacted
Easy to screen who is eligible
Easy to make an agreement for further contact/new phone call
Possible to document reasons for non-participation