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Achieving target recruitment in a primary care trial: lessons from PRIDE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 July 2007

Carolyn A. Chew-Graham
Affiliation:
School of Community Based Medicine, University of Manchester, UK
Karina Lovell
Affiliation:
School of Nursing, University of Manchester, UK
Chris Roberts
Affiliation:
School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
Bob Baldwin
Affiliation:
Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (MMHSCT), Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK
Michael Morley
Affiliation:
MMHSCT, Manchester, UK
Alistair Burns
Affiliation:
MMHSCT, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, UK
Heather Burroughs
Affiliation:
School of Community Based Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
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Abstract

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Background: Failure to reach recruitment targets is a widespread problem in RCTs (randomized controlled trials). This paper presents experience of recruiting patients into the PRIDE trial which was carried out in one Primary Care Trust (PCT) in the North West of England. Aim: The aim of this feasibility study was to test the effectiveness of a new model of care for the management of late-life depression. Method: GPs (general practitioners), PNs (practice nurses) and community nurses were invited to refer patients into the study. Over 100 patients were needed (at least 50 in each arm of the trial) for the study to be sufficiently powered. On-target recruitment of over 100 patients over 18 months was achieved. Findings: Data obtained from conversations and from semi-structured interviews with health professionals is presented to give possible explanations for this successful recruitment. Not all practices in the PCT engaged with the study, and the most common reasons given by GPs and their staff for non-participation was being single handed or already having a heavy work-load. All community nurses spoken to agreed to refer patients to the study but only five referrals were made by this group over the course of the study. The main reasons primary care professionals did agree to participate and continue to refer patients was that they felt the trial was offering a local and relevant service to an under-served patient group. The very simple referral process was also an important factor. In addition, the Trial Nurse was perceived to be responsive, responding quickly to referrals made and providing regular and detailed feedback which was perceived to help and support the health professionals in the future management of the patient.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2007 Cambridge University Press

Footnotes

PRIDE trial (PRimary care Intervention in Depression in the Elderly) funded by Department of Health. ISRCTN630361331, EudraCT number 2005-003653-27. These views are not necessarily those of the funders.