Recruiting primary care practices for practice-based research: a case study of a group-randomized study (TRANSLATE CKD) recruitment process

Many primary care in cancer researchers understand the difficulties of trying to recruit primary care practices for trials. In Australia, we have some state-based primary care practice based research networks such as SydReN based at the University of Sydney and VicReN and MonReN based at the University of Melbourne and Monash University to assist researchers successfully enrol enough clinics to achieve recruitment targets.  This case study, of the TRANSLATED CKD study, reflects on the challenges of recruiting primary care practices for a practice-based research study. Even though this study was not targeting cancer the lessons learned directly apply to the challenges seen in recruiting for primary care in cancer research trials. The study approached 114 practices of which less than half were interested. Of these 52 interested practices only 25 were successfully enrolled in the study. On average it took researchers over 2 months to recruit a practice. The most common recruitment barriers were administrative such as lack of perceived organisational benefit. Another barrier was that the decision holder was an administrator or in management rather than a primary care health professional. This paper highights the lengthy time it can take to successfully recruit a primary care clinic and that practice-based research should make sure their recruitment phase is of a sufficient length to achieve recruitment targets.   Read the full article here.  
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