Strategies for recruiting patients to focus groups in primary care: a case study reflective paper using an analytical framework

Dyas, Jane and Apekey, Tanefa and Tilling, Michelle and Siriwardena, Aloysius Niroshan (2009) Strategies for recruiting patients to focus groups in primary care: a case study reflective paper using an analytical framework. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 9 (65). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1471-2288

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Strategies for recruiting patients to focus groups in primary care: a case study reflective paper using an analytical framework
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Official URL: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2288/9/65

Abstract

Background: Recruiting to primary care studies is complex. With the current drive to increase numbers of patients involved in primary care studies, we need to know more about successful recruitment approaches. There is limited evidence on recruitment to focus group studies, particularly when no natural grouping exists and where participants do not regularly meet. The aim of this paper is to reflect on recruitment to a focus group study comparing the methods used with existing evidence using a resource for research recruitment, PROSPeR (Planning Recruitment Options: Strategies for Primary Care).
Methods: The focus group formed part of modelling a complex intervention in primary care in the Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST) study. Despite a considered approach at the design stage, there were a number of difficulties with recruitment. The recruitment strategy and subsequent revisions are detailed.
Results: The researchers' modifications to recruitment, justifications and evidence from the literature in support of them are presented. Contrary evidence is used to analyse why some aspects were unsuccessful and evidence is used to suggest improvements. Recruitment to focus group
studies should be considered in two distinct phases; getting potential participants to contact the researcher, and converting those contacts into attendance. The difficulty of recruitment in primary care is underemphasised in the literature especially where people do not regularly come together,
typified by this case study of patients with sleep problems.
Conclusion: We recommend training GPs and nurses to recruit patients during consultations.
Multiple recruitment methods should be employed from the outset and the need to build topic
related non-financial incentives into the group meeting should be considered. Recruitment should
be monitored regularly with barriers addressed iteratively as a study progresses.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Background: Recruiting to primary care studies is complex. With the current drive to increase numbers of patients involved in primary care studies, we need to know more about successful recruitment approaches. There is limited evidence on recruitment to focus group studies, particularly when no natural grouping exists and where participants do not regularly meet. The aim of this paper is to reflect on recruitment to a focus group study comparing the methods used with existing evidence using a resource for research recruitment, PROSPeR (Planning Recruitment Options: Strategies for Primary Care). Methods: The focus group formed part of modelling a complex intervention in primary care in the Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST) study. Despite a considered approach at the design stage, there were a number of difficulties with recruitment. The recruitment strategy and subsequent revisions are detailed. Results: The researchers' modifications to recruitment, justifications and evidence from the literature in support of them are presented. Contrary evidence is used to analyse why some aspects were unsuccessful and evidence is used to suggest improvements. Recruitment to focus group studies should be considered in two distinct phases; getting potential participants to contact the researcher, and converting those contacts into attendance. The difficulty of recruitment in primary care is underemphasised in the literature especially where people do not regularly come together, typified by this case study of patients with sleep problems. Conclusion: We recommend training GPs and nurses to recruit patients during consultations. Multiple recruitment methods should be employed from the outset and the need to build topic related non-financial incentives into the group meeting should be considered. Recruitment should be monitored regularly with barriers addressed iteratively as a study progresses.
Keywords:study recruitment, focus group, barriers, insomnia, sleep
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:2048
Deposited By: Niro Siriwardena
Deposited On:04 Nov 2009 13:30
Last Modified:28 May 2013 10:36

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