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Recruiting children onto research studies by the Scottish Primary Care Research Network: a real team effort

BackgroundRecruiting for research studies is always a challenge, particularly in paediatric studies. Here we report on experiences recruiting children to five studies through primary care. MethodsThe Scottish Primary Care Research Network (SPCRN) has approval to identify for research studies eligible participants on primary care practice lists. The number of potential participants and the proportion recruited onto five paediatric studies are provided along with factors involved in recruiting practices and patients. ResultsA total of 4910 individuals were recruited, of whom 367 (7%) participated. Recruitment of practices varied between 7 and 44% for different studies. There was evidence that practices who had participated in previous studies were more likely to participate again. Patient participation was positively related to affluence and there was evidence that adults were more likely to participate than children. DiscussionDespite the pressing clinical workload in primary care, many general practices are still able to make accommodation for research activity. What is required is effective communication between colleagues in primary care, researchers, the SPCRN and patients. Given that the majority of medicine is practiced in primary care, there is a desire for evidence-based medicine to be generated from primary care and the SPCRN and other networks can help to provide this.


Amanda Cardy, Sam Holden, David Watson, Donna Nelson, Steve Turner

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