Comparing recruitment strategies in a study of acupuncture for chronic back pain

Karen J. Sherman, Rene J. Hawkes, Laura Ichikawa, Daniel C. Cherkin, Richard (Rick) Deyo, Andrew L. Avins, Partap S. Khalsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Meeting recruitment goals is challenging for many clinical trials conducted in primary care populations. Little is known about how the use of different recruitment strategies affects the types of individuals choosing to participate or the conclusions of the study. Methods. A secondary analysis was performed using data from participants recruited to a clinical trial evaluating acupuncture for chronic back pain among primary care patients in a large integrated health care organization. We used two recruitment methods: mailed letters of invitation and an advertisement in the health plan's magazine. For these two recruitment methods, we compared recruitment success (% randomized, treatment completers, drop outs and losses to follow-up), participant characteristics, and primary clinical outcomes. A linear regression model was used to test for interaction between treatment group and recruitment method. Results. Participants recruited via mailed letters closely resembled those responding to the advertisement in terms of demographic characteristics, most aspects of their back pain history and current episode and beliefs and expectations about acupuncture. No interaction between method of recruitment and treatment group was seen, suggesting that study outcomes were not affected by recruitment strategy. Conclusion. In this trial, the two recruitment strategies yielded similar estimates of treatment effectiveness. However, because this finding may not apply to other recruitment strategies or trial circumstances, trials employing multiple recruitment strategies should evaluate the effect of recruitment strategy on outcome. Trial registration. Clinical Trials.gov NCT00065585.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

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Acupuncture
Back Pain
Chronic Pain
Clinical Trials
Linear Models
Primary Health Care
Therapeutics
Demography
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Organizations
Delivery of Health Care
Health
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics

Cite this

Sherman, K. J., Hawkes, R. J., Ichikawa, L., Cherkin, D. C., Deyo, R. R., Avins, A. L., & Khalsa, P. S. (2009). Comparing recruitment strategies in a study of acupuncture for chronic back pain. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 9(1), [69]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-9-69

Comparing recruitment strategies in a study of acupuncture for chronic back pain. / Sherman, Karen J.; Hawkes, Rene J.; Ichikawa, Laura; Cherkin, Daniel C.; Deyo, Richard (Rick); Avins, Andrew L.; Khalsa, Partap S.

In: BMC Medical Research Methodology, Vol. 9, No. 1, 69, 2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sherman, Karen J. ; Hawkes, Rene J. ; Ichikawa, Laura ; Cherkin, Daniel C. ; Deyo, Richard (Rick) ; Avins, Andrew L. ; Khalsa, Partap S. / Comparing recruitment strategies in a study of acupuncture for chronic back pain. In: BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2009 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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