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Table 3 Trial and recruitment characteristics for the included 512 stroke rehabilitation RCTs

From: A systematic review of the efficiency of recruitment to stroke rehabilitation randomised controlled trials

  Trial characteristic categories Number of RCTs in this category (percentage of total, n = 512)
Publication date 2009 and before 250 (49%)
2010 and after 262 (51%)
Trial size 21 or fewer participants 128 (25%)
22–34 participants 134 (26%)
35–60 participants 121 (24%)
61–99 participants 66 (13%)
100 or more participants 63 (12%)
Stroke survivor residence Community 100 (19%)
Hospital 96 (19%)
Rehabilitation or stroke-specific environment 192 (37%)
Othera 19 (4%)
Unreported 105 (21%)
Type of intervention Using a technological aid (any form of equipment to assist the rehabilitation intervention) 270 (59%)
Not using a technological aid 189 (41%)
Unreported 53 (10%)
Funding source Research council 102 (20%)
Government 65 (13%)
Charity 51 (10%)
University 38 (7%)
No funding 50 (9%)
Industrya 15 (3%)
Combinationa 22 (4%)
Unreported 169 (33%)
Ethics approval Hospital/health board 191 (37%)
University 158 (31%)
Unreported 163 (32%)
Targeted impairment Arm function 169 (33%)
Leg function 94 (18%)
Overall disability 137 (27%)
Cognitive or vision 61 (12%)
Unreported 51 (10%)
Stage of rehabilitation Acute (0–1 month) 82 (16%)
Acute–subacute 43 (8%)
Subacute (1–6 months) 62 (12%)
Subacute–chronic 37 (7%)
Chronic (> 6 months) 193 (38%)
Any stagea 13 (3%)
Unreported 82 (16%)
Control condition Inactive control (form of control that lasts for the same duration as the intervention but does not have a known effect [17]) 55 (11%)
Active control (typically a comparison intervention which is known to have an effect but would not be characterised as standard care [18]) 246 (48%)
Usual care (standard care received) 159 (31%)
Unreported 52 (10%)
Continent of recruitment Europe 176 (34%)
Asia 137 (27%)
North America 102 (20%)
Australasia (Australia or New Zealand)a 31 (6%)
Other 66 (13%)
Recruitment strategy Screening admissions 100 (20%)
Screening inpatients 81 (16%)
Screening community dwelling stroke survivors 42 (8%)
Screening dischargea 14 (3%)
Screening databasesa 24 (5%)
Referralsa 11 (2%)
Advertisementsa 23 (4%)
Combination of the abovea 31 (6%)
Unreported 186 (36%)
Profession of recruiter Medical professional 47 (9%)
Allied health professional or nurse 89 (17%)
Research team member 49 (10%)
Combination of the abovea 20 (4%)
Unreported 307 (60%)
Number of recruiters One 57 (11%)
Two or three 59 (11%)
Four or more 38 (7%)
Unreported 358 (70%)
Number of recruiters per site One recruiter covering multiple sites 18 (4%)
One recruiter per site 47 (9%)
Between one and two recruiters 38 (7%)
More than two recruiters 30 (6%)
Unreported 379 (74%)
  1. aRemoved from subgroup analysis due to lack of numerical balance increasing risk of producing misleading results