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Putting research methodology into practice

We’ve just got funding from the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of Scotland to find out what sort of evidence researchers need to design effective trial recruitment strategies and how that evidence should be presented to them. This will make it easier for researchers to design evidence-based recruitment strategies and highlight what sort of evidence future research should provide.

Randomised trials are central to evidence-based health but how we design and run them is far from evidence-based. Many design and process decisions are made without evidence to support them, either because evidence does not exist, or because it is not available in a useful form. The problem is nowhere better illustrated than trial recruitment, where evidence of benefit exists for just a handful of techniques. How this evidence is presented takes no account of what users actually need when designing their recruitment strategies.

Our new work involves speaking to trial teams across the UK, and a few in other countries, to hear how they develop their recruitment strategies now, what types of information they find useful and what would be the most effective way of presenting research information about recruitment to them.  The work starts on 1st July 2016 and is part of Heidi Gardner’s (@heidirgardner) PhD – ‘Making clinical trials more efficient: consolidating, communicating and improving knowledge of participant recruitment interventions’.