Using REDCap to track stakeholder engagement: A time-saving tool for PCORI-funded studies

J Clin Transl Sci. 2020 Feb 6;4(2):108-114. doi: 10.1017/cts.2019.444. eCollection 2020 Apr.


Background: Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) is a secure, web-based electronic data capture application for building and managing surveys and databases. It can also be used for study management, data transfer, and data export into a variety of statistical programs. REDcap was developed and supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Program and is used in over 3700 institutions worldwide. It can also be used to track and measure stakeholder engagement, an integral element of research funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Continuously and accurately tracking and reporting on stakeholder engagement activities throughout the life of a PCORI-funded trial can be challenging, particularly in complex trials with multiple types of engagement.

Methods: In this paper, we show our approach for collecting and capturing stakeholder engagement activities using a shareable REDCap tool in one of the PCORI's first large pragmatic clinical trials (the Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services) to inform other investigators planning cluster-randomized pragmatic trials. Benefits and challenges are highlighted for researchers seeking to consistently monitor and measure stakeholder engagement.

Conclusions: We describe how REDCap can provide a time-saving approach to capturing how stakeholders engage in a PCORI-funded study and reporting how stakeholders influenced the study in progress reports back to PCORI.

Keywords: Community-based participatory research; comparative effectiveness research; patient engagement; pragmatic clinical trial; research design; stroke.