Strategies for Increasing Recruitment to Randomised Controlled Trials

Recruitment of participants into randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is critical for successful trial conduct.

396 papers were retrieved and 37 studies were included in this review.

Recruitment strategies that improved recruitment included:

- increased people's awareness of the health problem being studied (e.g., an interactive computer program)
- attendance at an education session
- addition of a health questionnaire or a video about the health condition
- monetary incentives

Increasing patients' understanding of the trial process, recruiter differences, and various methods of randomisation and consent design did not show a difference in recruitment.


Caldwell PHY, Hamilton S, Tan A, Craig JC (2010) Strategies for Increasing Recruitment to Randomised Controlled Trials: Systematic Review. PLoS Med 7(11): e1000368. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000368
Recruiting Study Participants Through Facebook: Epidemiology Study, 2011.
Facebook is cost-effective recruitment source for smokers to complete a survey about tobacco and other substances
Image source:, free license.

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