Successfully recruiting and retaining the pre-specified number of patients to time and target is a commonly encountered challenge that negatively impacts clinical trials. Consequently there is a drive in research aimed at addressing these problems. 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 and retention in a searchable database.
ORRCA has been developed through the Trials Methodological Research Partnership (TMRP), in particular the Hub for Trials Methodological Research (HTMR) and the HRB Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB TMRN). Ongoing maintenance of the resource is supported by the Trial Conduct Working group within TMRP which facilitates networking and collaborative research in a number of areas including trial recruitment and retention.
Two seperate search strategies have been developed to identify recruitment and retention literature. These are then adapted for use in Medline (Ovid), CINAHL (EBSCO), PsycINFO (EBSCO), Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection (SCI-expanded, SSCI, CPCI-S, CPCI-SSH, ESCI) and the Cochrane library (CENTRAL). Searches are re-run annually around March to idenitfy new literature published in the previous calender year.
A team of volunteer reviewers from across the globe are involved in reviewing returned records. Following title and abstract screening, full texts are obtained for potentially relevant records. Eligible articles are then categorised according to all relevant domains in the respective recruitment and retention frameworks
Eligible articles are also categorised according to the following types of evidence:
Randomised Evaluation – The formal assessment of the effectiveness of a recruitment strategy through a nested randomised control trial.
Non-randomised Evaluation - A comparative evaluation of a recruitment strategy such as a case control study or pre/post test. (NB this has only been applied from 2017 publications onwards)
Application - Information on the use of a recruitment strategy without comparative evaluation. This includes studies reportig the use of a strategy and hypothetical models of strategies.
Observation - 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 development process can be found in our publication.
We are currently finishing the update of 2018-2019 publications due to delays caused by COVID restricting reviewer availability. New articles are being added regularly as they become available. We plan to work on 2020 papers from the summer onwards.
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 .