Treweek, Shaun, Barnett, Karen, MacLennan, Graeme, Bonetti, Debbie, Eccles, Martin, Francis, Jill, Jones, Claire, Pitts, Nigel, Ricketts, Ian, Weal, Mark and Sullivan, Frank
Email invitations to general practitioners were as effective as postal invitations and were more efficient.
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 65, (7), Summer Issue
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Objective: To evaluate which of two invitation methods, email or post, was most effective at recruiting general practitioners to an online trial. Study design and setting: Randomised controlled trial. Participants were general practitioners in Scotland, UK. Results: 270 general practitioners were recruited. Using email did not improve recruitment (risk difference = 0.7% (95% confidence interval -2.7% to 4.1%)). Email was, however, simpler to use and cheaper, costing £3.20 per recruit compared to £15.69 for postal invitations. Reminders increased recruitment by around 4% for each reminder sent for both invitation methods. Conclusions: In the Scottish context, inviting general practitioners to take part in an online trial by email does not adversely affect recruitment and is logistically easier and cheaper than using postal invitations.
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