Recruitment and implementation strategies in randomised controlled trials of acupuncture and herbal medicine in women's health

Complement Ther Med. 2006 Mar;14(1):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2005.07.004. Epub 2005 Sep 8.


Introduction: Recruitment of subjects to clinical trials is known to be difficult and there is little research describing recruitment and implementation strategies to CAM clinical trials. This paper describes the experiences from recruitment and implementation for five randomised controlled trials in women's health conducted in South Australia.

Methods: Descriptive study reporting on trial documentation and questionnaires completed by women.

Results: Recruitment rates varied between trials and a variety of recruitment strategies were used between studies. Promotion of the trials to the wider community were facilitated by issuing press releases and subsequent reporting by the media. Women found the trial acceptable suggesting factors motivating and preventing women from participating were well addressed.

Conclusion: It is hoped that the experiences described here will give some insight to recruitment and implementation strategies. There is a need for more systematic research and evaluation of these strategies, and dissemination of these findings to assist with successful implementation of trials.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Advertising
  • Australia
  • Female
  • Ginger
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*