Optimising recruitment and informed consent in randomised controlled trials: the development and implementation of the Quintet Recruitment Intervention QRIReport as inadecuate

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, 17:283

First Online: 08 June 2016Received: 24 October 2015Accepted: 06 May 2016DOI: 10.1186-s13063-016-1391-4

Cite this article as: Donovan, J.L., Rooshenas, L., Jepson, M. et al. Trials 2016 17: 283. doi:10.1186-s13063-016-1391-4


BackgroundPragmatic randomised controlled trials RCTs are considered essential to determine effective interventions for routine clinical practice, but many fail to recruit participants efficiently, and some really important RCTs are not undertaken because recruitment is thought to be too difficult. The ‘QuinteT Recruitment Intervention’ QRI aims to facilitate informed decision making by patients about RCT participation and to increase recruitment. This paper presents the development and implementation of the QRI.

MethodsThe QRI developed iteratively as a complex intervention. It emerged from the National Institute for Health Research NIHR ProtecT trial and has been developed further in 13 RCTs. The final version of the QRI uses a combination of standard and innovative qualitative research methods with some simple quantification to understand recruitment and identify sources of difficulties.

ResultsThe QRI has two major phases: understanding recruitment as it happens and then developing a plan of action to address identified difficulties and optimise informed consent in collaboration with the RCT chief investigator CI and the Clinical Trials Unit CTU. The plan of action usually includes RCT-specific, as well as generic, aspects. The QRI can be used in two ways: it can be integrated into the feasibility-pilot or main phase of an RCT to prevent difficulties developing and optimise recruitment from the start, or it can be applied to an ongoing RCT experiencing recruitment shortfalls, with a view to rapidly improving recruitment and informed consent or gathering evidence to justify RCT closure.

ConclusionsThe QRI provides a flexible way of understanding recruitment difficulties and producing a plan to address them while ensuring engaged and well-informed decision making by patients. It can facilitate recruitment to the most controversial and important RCTs. QRIs are likely to be of interest to the CIs and CTUs developing proposals for ‘difficult’ RCTs or for RCTs with lower than expected recruitment and to the funding bodies wishing to promote efficient recruitment in pragmatic RCTs.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s13063-016-1391-4 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Jenny L. Donovan - Leila Rooshenas - Marcus Jepson - Daisy Elliott - Julia Wade - Kerry Avery - Nicola Mills - Caroline W

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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