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Views of healthcare professionals on recruiting to a psychosocial randomised controlled trial: a qualitative study

Aspden, T; Armstrong, M; Serfaty, M; (2021) Views of healthcare professionals on recruiting to a psychosocial randomised controlled trial: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research , 21 , Article 837. 10.1186/s12913-021-06817-2. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Randomised controlled trials, and in particular those of psychosocial interventions, often fail to recruit to target, resulting in underpowered trials with poor generalisability of findings. The objectives of this study were to explore the views of healthcare professionals on recruiting to psychosocial research studies, and to explore their views on factors that may hinder or facilitate recruitment. Methods: We conducted 14 semi-structured interviews, with healthcare professionals who had been involved in recruitment into a randomised controlled trial of a talking therapy for depression in patients with advanced cancer. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Five primary themes were identified, comprised of 11 subthemes. Attitudes towards research were largely positive. Health care professionals identified lack of time and narrow screening criteria as barriers to recruitment, and also noted the tendency to withhold participants from research for reasons other than eligibility (e.g., gatekeeping). The engagement of the study team with the clinical recruitment site, and the frequent presence of a researcher in clinics, were noted as facilitating recruitment. Conclusions: Healthcare professionals involved in recruiting to trials of psychosocial interventions hold generally positive views of psychosocial research. However, they report that constraints including space and time limit their ability to recruit, and express anxieties about approaching patients for trial recruitment in the palliative phase of their illness. The findings from this study can inform how best to design trials, and in particular trials of psychosocial interventions, and train health care professionals for the study, to maximise recruitment.

Type: Article
Title: Views of healthcare professionals on recruiting to a psychosocial randomised controlled trial: a qualitative study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12913-021-06817-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06817-2
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s). 2021 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Qualitative, RCT, Randomised Controlled Trial, Psychosocial, Recruitment, Psychooncology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133524
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