Table 7

Contribution of participant identification strategies to recruitment*

Author, yearType of interventionDetailsScreened, nRandomised, n
(% of screened)
Contribution, %
Bhar et al, 201338 Health service referralCo-investigator’s Veteran’s Affairs mental health clinic4524 (53)73
Mass mailingPrimary care patients mailing list1746 (3)18
Health service referralPsychiatric outpatient clinic123 (25)9
Health service referralInpatient psychiatric unit20 (0)0
Health service referralPrimary care physicians00 (0)0
Chlebowski et al, 201040 Mass mailingMale home owners3961600 (15)95
Mass mailingSpouses of previous female research participant6134 (56)5
Heiney et al, 201042 Mass mailingOncology clinic list7815 (19)25
Health service referralPhysician2413 (54)22
Health service referralPrevious health research study16111 (7)19
OtherPosters, newspaper articles, other3310 (30)17
Mass mailingUrology clinic list528 (15)14
Mass mailingSupport services department list122 (17)3
Kusek et al, 200244 MediaNewspaper advertising and new stories1140876 (77)30
Mass mailingDepartment of Motor Vehicles, screening lists and patient databases1022783 (77)27
Health service referralUrology clinic361280 (78)10
MediaRadio advertising326257 (79)9
MediaInclusion in newsletters to military retirees and participating medical institutions325245 (75)8
MediaTelevision news stories and public service announcements223192 (86)7
OtherWord of mouth150122 (81)4
Community outreachPoster/display13294 (71)3
OtherNot specified/unknown46157 (12)2
Community outreachProstate health screening event3025 (83)1
Lee et al, 201145 Mass mailingPostal invite—former trial participants, health system users and commercial direct mailing lists608143 (24)39
MediaNewspaper, radio and online advertising273129 (47)35
Mass mailingEmail invite - university employees, physicians, database of people who registered interest in research8731 (36)8
Health service referralUrology clinic (chart review)5230 (58)8
OtherNot specifiedNR28 (NR)8
Community outreachPosters and flyers128 (67)2
  • *Poor quality studies excluded.

  • †Contribution defined as the percentage of all participants randomised to the host randomised controlled trial who were randomised as a result of a particular recruitment strategy.

  • NR, not reported.