Successfully recruiting the pre-specified number of patients to time and target is a commonly encountered challenge that negatively impacts all stakeholders. Consequently there is a drive in research aimed at addressing trial recruitment. However, the volume of research in this area needs to be managed in an efficient way that enables trialists to access and use relevant research as well as allowing trials methodologists to identify any gaps in the research.
ORRCA aims to collate relevant methodological research on recruitment in a searchable database.
ORRCA was initiated by members of the HTMR Recruitment Working Group. The group is identifying the most effective and efficient strategies for recruitment to trials, with methodology studies inside and outside the Hubs. It facilitates networking and collaborative research across the Hubs to improve trial recruitment, and collaborates with the UKCRC Registered CTU Network to implement, evaluate and use recruitment interventions across clinical trials in the UK and beyond.
A search of the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (Ovid), SCOPUS, ERIC and SCI-EXPANDED and SSCI (via ISI Web of Science) was conducted in 2015 to identify relevant studies which may inform recruitment research and strategies. To date 68,941 articles have been screened by title and abstract which has identified over 6000 articles for full text review.
A team of reviewers from the MRC HTMR recruitment working group and the HRB Trial Methodology Research network in Ireland are currently reviewing full text articles for eligibility and categorising articles according to recruitment research domains:
Articles have also been categorised according to the following types of evidence:
Evaluation (Level 1) – The formal assessment of the effectiveness of a recruitment strategy through a nested randomised control trial, a case control or a systematic review.
Application (Level 2) - Information on the use of a recruitment strategy without formal evaluation. This includes informal evaluations such as level of recruitment before and after a strategy is applied and hypothetical models of strategies.
Observation (Level 3) - Concepts, observations or information that may be used to develop recruitment strategies. This includes lessons learnt from trials and reasons for participation/ non participation.
Additional information has been extracted from articles to allow users to search for articles based on the methods, outcomes and approach of the recruitment research, as well as the recruitment context (recruitment setting, gender, age, intervention type etc.)
Further information on the review process and how to use the site can be accessed via the HTMR webinar conducted in December 2016.
The 2015-2016 update is now complete and the 2017 update will start shortly once we have completed a review of the search strategies. Articles will be added to the database throughout the update and as new articles are submitted to us.
This work is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research (MR/L004933/1– B2) and the Health Research Board Trials Methodology Research Network .