Recruitment of multiple stakeholders to health services research: Lessons from the front linesReport as inadecuate

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BMC Health Services Research

, 10:123

First Online: 13 May 2010Received: 29 September 2009Accepted: 13 May 2010DOI: 10.1186-1472-6963-10-123

Cite this article as: Kho, M.E., Rawski, E., Makarski, J. et al. BMC Health Serv Res 2010 10: 123. doi:10.1186-1472-6963-10-123


BackgroundSelf-administered surveys are an essential methodological tool for health services and knowledge translation research, and engaging end-users of the research is critical. However, few documented accounts of the efforts invested in recruitment of multiple different stakeholders to one health services research study exist. Here, we highlight the challenges of recruiting key stakeholders policy-makers, clinicians, guideline developers to a Canadian Institutes of Health Research CIHR funded health services research HSR study aimed to develop an updated and refined version of a guideline appraisal tool, the AGREE.

MethodsUsing evidence-based methods of recruitment, our goal was to recruit 192 individuals: 80 international guideline developers, 80 Canadian clinicians and 32 Canadian policy-decision-makers. We calculated the participation rate and the recruitment efficiency.

ResultsWe mailed 873 invitation letters. Of 838 approached, our participation rate was 29%240 and recruitment efficiency, 19%156. One policy-maker manager did not allow policy staff to participate in the study.

ConclusionsBased on the results from this study, we suggest that future studies aiming to engage similar stakeholders in HSR over sample by at least 5 times to achieve their target sample size and allow for participant withdrawals. We need continued efforts to communicate the value of research between researchers and end-users of research policy-makers, clinicians, and other researchers, integration of participatory research strategies, and promotion of the value of end-user involvement in research. Future research to understand methods of improving recruitment efficiency and engaging key stakeholders in HSR is warranted.

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Author: Michelle E Kho - Ellen Rawski - Julie Makarski - Melissa C Brouwers


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