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Lessons learned on recruitment and retention in hard-to-reach families in a phase III randomised controlled trial of preparatory information for children undergoing general anaesthesia

Lessons learned on recruitment and retention in hard-to-reach families in a phase III randomised controlled trial of preparatory information for children undergoing general anaesthesia
Lessons learned on recruitment and retention in hard-to-reach families in a phase III randomised controlled trial of preparatory information for children undergoing general anaesthesia

Background

Recruitment and retention are documented as two of the most difficult elements of conducting clinical trials. These issues are even more challenging in paediatric trials, particularly when the families being recruited and retained are deemed ‘hard to reach’.

Methods

Through the authors’ own reflection on the conduct of the trial this paper examines recruitment and retention with hard to reach families from the perspective of a recently completed clinical trial on preparatory information for children undergoing general anaesthesia for tooth extractions in which approximately 83% of those approached and eligible agreed to participate.

Results

The lessons learned for recruitment include: the importance of children’s assent; maximising limited resources when screening and approaching potential participants; valuing families’ time; and developing effective professional relationships. The retention rate was 83-85.5% at follow up time points up to 3.5 weeks following recruitment, insights into how this was accomplished include: ensuring continuity of care; determination to connect via telephone; valuing families’ time; and close monitoring of appointment date changes.

Conclusions

Implications for future paediatric trials with hard to reach families are discussed.

Trial registration

ISRCTN18265148; NIHR Portfolio 10,006. Date of Registration: 29 November 2013. The trial was registered after commencement but before completion of data collection.

1-7
Huntington, C.
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Timothy Newton, J.
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Donaldson, N.
beeb2b2c-a563-468d-9419-ffc8c0500afd
Liossi, Christina
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Reynolds, P.A.
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Alharatani, R.
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Hosey, M.T.
b12174cc-5c1d-4732-ada8-e7ccb9f57a86
Huntington, C.
101911e8-06f3-4896-9d1a-24cc9df95076
Timothy Newton, J.
b9864f44-bc13-44fb-b7db-31741e4a0758
Donaldson, N.
beeb2b2c-a563-468d-9419-ffc8c0500afd
Liossi, Christina
fd401ad6-581a-4a31-a60b-f8671ffd3558
Reynolds, P.A.
b980f807-df65-453a-a05e-98f763643ab8
Alharatani, R.
98c27895-ea07-4dd8-bf1a-8283987f7c85
Hosey, M.T.
b12174cc-5c1d-4732-ada8-e7ccb9f57a86

Huntington, C., Timothy Newton, J., Donaldson, N., Liossi, Christina, Reynolds, P.A., Alharatani, R. and Hosey, M.T. (2017) Lessons learned on recruitment and retention in hard-to-reach families in a phase III randomised controlled trial of preparatory information for children undergoing general anaesthesia. BMC Oral Health, 1-7. (doi:10.1186/s12903-017-0411-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background

Recruitment and retention are documented as two of the most difficult elements of conducting clinical trials. These issues are even more challenging in paediatric trials, particularly when the families being recruited and retained are deemed ‘hard to reach’.

Methods

Through the authors’ own reflection on the conduct of the trial this paper examines recruitment and retention with hard to reach families from the perspective of a recently completed clinical trial on preparatory information for children undergoing general anaesthesia for tooth extractions in which approximately 83% of those approached and eligible agreed to participate.

Results

The lessons learned for recruitment include: the importance of children’s assent; maximising limited resources when screening and approaching potential participants; valuing families’ time; and developing effective professional relationships. The retention rate was 83-85.5% at follow up time points up to 3.5 weeks following recruitment, insights into how this was accomplished include: ensuring continuity of care; determination to connect via telephone; valuing families’ time; and close monitoring of appointment date changes.

Conclusions

Implications for future paediatric trials with hard to reach families are discussed.

Trial registration

ISRCTN18265148; NIHR Portfolio 10,006. Date of Registration: 29 November 2013. The trial was registered after commencement but before completion of data collection.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 13 August 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 September 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 414959
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/414959
PURE UUID: e2225a3d-f7f4-4685-be25-732787e29721
ORCID for Christina Liossi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0627-6377

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Oct 2017 16:30
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 00:55

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