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Table 3 Example questions as they relate to the main themes of the a priori framework

From: Projection of participant recruitment to primary care research: a qualitative study

  Example interview questions
Protocol factors How did you approach potential eligible participants for recruitment into your study?
  Applying the eligibility criteria in practice, what did you find? Was it straightforward?
  Explore protocol regime and attractiveness to patient
Setting factors It is often said that to be involved in a clinical trial, investigators and participants should be in equipoise, that is, genuinely uncertain about which treatment is better. Did you find that you had people involved who expressed preference for one treatment (patients) or conviction that one was better (clinicians)?
  Did any of these factors affect your own study: Staff availability (any particular times?) Practice busy? Different centres recruiting at different rates? Why do you think this is?
  Did anything in the clinical, organisational or policy environment change over the course of your study that affected recruitment?
Estimation Some previous research has shown that when investigators are planning participant accrual to research, they are often overly optimistic in terms of the rate at which they expect this to happen. In your experience, generally, have you found this to be the case?
  Did you base your accrual estimates on: A clinical audit? Previous research? An estimate (whose?)? Was that realistic
  What information or knowledge did you not have when planning the trial that would have been most beneficial in projecting recruitment to the study? Would this have been available?
Planning Was any pilot work undertaken, or a feasibility stage incorporated into the research? Were projections changed?
  Is there anything you can think of that would make it easier to project recruitment to studies generally?