OBJECTIVE. To evaluate factors associated with randomized controlled trial patient recruitment by therapists.
METHOD. Survey of 18 (of a possible 26) therapists who had agreed to recruit patients for a randomized controlled trial (78% response rate).
RESULTS. Sixteen respondents had enrolled at least one patient. The site at which the therapist worked neither influenced the likelihood that a therapist would contact the researcher nor influenced the recruitment rate. Seventeen respondents reported that they contacted the researcher to discuss one or more of their patients for potential inclusion in the trial. Factors reported by therapists as reasons why they did not recommend the trial to eligible patients were not specific to study inclusion or exclusion criteria, rather were linked to personal judgments about patient suitability for the study. Regression analysis indicated that being enrolled or having completed master’s level postgraduate studies, and choosing not to refer patients because of concern for their poor medical prognosis were the only factors that significantly influenced recruitment rate (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION. Recruitment practices vary amongst therapists. Selection of therapists with postgraduate qualifications as recruiters may be an effective way to enhance recruitment rate.