Facilitators and barriers to successful recruitment into a large comparative effectiveness trial: a qualitative study

J Comp Eff Res. 2019 Jul;8(10):815-826. doi: 10.2217/cer-2019-0010. Epub 2019 Aug 1.


Background: Recruitment of participants into research studies, especially individuals from minority groups, is challenging; lack of diversity may lead to biased findings. Aim: To explore beliefs about research participation among individuals who were approached and eligible for the GRADE study. Methods: In-depth qualitative telephone interviews with randomized participants (n = 25) and eligible individuals who declined to enroll (n = 26). Results: Refusers and consenters differed in trust and perceptions of risk, benefits and burden of participation. Few participants understood how comparative effectiveness research differed from other types of trials; however, some features of comparative effectiveness research were perceived as lower risk. Conclusion: We identified facilitators and addressable barriers to participation in research studies.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01794143.

Keywords: comparative effectiveness research; qualitative research; recruitment.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research / methods*
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Trust / psychology

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01794143