A practical do-it-yourself recruitment framework for concurrent eHealth clinical trials: Identification of efficient and cost-effective methods for decision making (part 2)

Emily G. Lattie*, Susan M. Kaiser, Nameyeh Alam, Kathryn N. Tomasino, Elizabeth Sargent, Caryn Kseniya Rubanovich, Hannah L. Palac, David C. Mohr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The ability to successfully recruit participants for electronic health (eHealth) clinical trials is largely dependent on the use of efficient and effective recruitment strategies. Determining which types of recruitment strategies to use presents a challenge for many researchers. Objective: The aim of this study was to present an analysis of the time-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of recruitment strategies for eHealth clinical trials, and it describes a framework for cost-effective trial recruitment. Methods: Participants were recruited for one of 5 eHealth trials of interventions for common mental health conditions. A multipronged recruitment approach was used, including digital (eg, social media and Craigslist), research registry-based, print (eg, flyers and posters on public transportation), clinic-based (eg, a general internal medicine clinic within an academic medical center and a large nonprofit health care organization), a market research recruitment firm, and traditional media strategies (eg, newspaper and television coverage in response to press releases). The time costs and fees for each recruitment method were calculated, and the participant yield on recruitment costs was calculated by dividing the number of enrolled participants by the total cost for each method. Results: A total of 777 participants were enrolled across all trials. Digital recruitment strategies yielded the largest number of participants across the 5 clinical trials and represented 34.0% (264/777) of the total enrolled participants. Registry-based recruitment strategies were in second place by enrolling 28.0% (217/777) of the total enrolled participants across trials. Research registry-based recruitment had a relatively high conversion rate from potential participants who contacted our center for being screened to be enrolled, and it was also the most cost-effective for enrolling participants in this set of clinical trials with a total cost per person enrolled at US $8.99. Conclusions: On the basis of these results, a framework is proposed for participant recruitment. To make decisions on initiating and maintaining different types of recruitment strategies, the resources available and requirements of the research study (or studies) need to be carefully examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere11050
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • EHealth
  • MHealth
  • Mental health
  • Recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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