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Table 8 List of potential digital tools to support recruitment and retention tasks

From: Using digital tools in the recruitment and retention in randomised controlled trials: survey of UK Clinical Trial Units and a qualitative study

TaskTargetPossible tools
Publicise a trialRecruiters (site and CTU trial staff)Social media, email campaign
Identify possible patients for a trial offlineRecruiters (site staff only)Database screening (e.g. CPRD)
Trial eligibility checklist on trial website
Identify patients for trial during consultationRecruiters (site staff only)Automated flag based on EPR
Ensure patient really was eligible for trial when recruitedRecruiter (site staff only)EPR database check on entry
Incentivise recruitersRecruiters (site and CTU trial staff)Automated league table, lottery for recruiters
Simplified trial recruitment workflow
Online patient information/video, etc.
Raise public awareness about trials in generalPublic / patientsSocial media, email campaigns
Help patients find a specific trialPublic / patientsclinicaltrials.gov, trial website; Google ads or pop up on disease website
Improve public understanding of a specific trialPatientsTrial website
eConsent video, animated patient information leaflet
Web chat with trial nurse
App (software) providing tailored information for patient
  1. CPRD Clinical Practice Research Datalink, CTU Clinical Trials Unit, EPR electronic patient records