Survey Results: Researchers Weigh-in on Recruitment Challenges

Provoc heard from 28 researchers around the U.S. who responded to a short, online survey in Sept-Nov. 2017.

The survey was used to learn about recruitment challenges and what researchers are doing to overcome them. Our top three findings are reported below. Download the full report to find all survey questions and answers.

Participation in research can be the opportunity of a lifetime for volunteers. They can help advance medical treatment options, increase safety, and provide hope for oneself and others. We are grateful to learn from the research community, whose work we are here to support. It is from this perspective that Provoc works to help researchers improve communications and accelerate study recruitment.

Research study recruitment is challenging but also manageable. Here are our three biggest takeaways:

#1 Use of Fewer Recruitment Methods Correlates to Higher Challenge in Recruitment

  • Recruitment challenges are higher for researchers who use only 1-2 methods of recruitment, compared to those who use 3+ methods. In our survey, 16 of 28 use 1-2 methods, and 12 people report 3+ methods.
  • A website is a key differentiator. Among researchers who use 1-2 methods, 14 out of 16 do not use a website and report higher challenge on average. For researchers who use 3 or more methods, 10 out of 12 use a website and report lower challenges on average.

#2 Use of a Website Correlates to Lower Challenge in Recruitment

  • Researchers who use a website as part of their recruitment program report the lowest level of challenge on average.
  • Recruitment challenges are lower on average for researchers who use digital media and community outreach strategies. Those who relied on Partner/CRO and physician referral sources without these other strategies report higher challenges.

#3 A Desire for Diversity and Contact Challenges are the Norm

  • 21 out of 28 respondents are trying to reach racially/ethnically diverse participants
  • 19 out of 28 respondents are trying to reach people without access to email
  • 16 out of 28 respondents are trying to reach people without reliable access to transportation
  • 11 out of 28 respondents are trying to reach people who are using assistive technology

Download the full report with all survey questions and answers including text responses from other researchers. If you have any questions about the survey report, please contact us via Provoc Clinical Research Study Recruitment Program.

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