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Table 3 Summary of the recruitment strategy implementation plan

From: Challenges of a community based pragmatic, randomised controlled trial of weight loss maintenance

Task Priority Actions taken
Section 1—PICs
Expansion of recruitment territory High Local geographical expansion of four more PICs within the remaining recruitment timeframe
Incentives for slimming world and exercise on referral staff High For exercise referral staff, a £20 high street voucher for the best recruiter bi-monthly. For SW consultants, a £20 voucher for every five participants recruited per month. There was also a £20 voucher for the best SW recruiter each month (N.B. GP PICs were reimbursed via NHS support costs)
Presenting to slimming world High Attend SW groups to present study to clients
47 meetings attended. Attend SW regional consultants meetings. 11 meetings attended
Increased SW HQ involvement High Advert placed in SW magazine and email from Head of Nutrition Research at SW to consultants encouraging involvement
Increased contact with PICs High Monthly phone contact with all PICs (n = 75), bi-monthly PIC newsletters, repeat training sessions
Engage with slimming club on referral from GP practices in South West England Medium Not implemented as study closed to recruitment before opening in SW England
Monitoring PICs Medium Monitor poor recruiters for support. Decided against closing them
Section 2—Advertising
Study website High Website live
Poster displays High Posters in non-PIC GP surgeries, local gyms and classes; hospital corridors; community centres
Local pharmacies High Posters displayed in pharmacies in Tesco (n = 26) and Sainsbury’s (n = 27) and local independent pharmacies
Large local employers and universities High 21 companies and six universities advertised study via intranet
Press releases Medium Local newspapers printed two articles
Item aired on local radio
Social media—Facebook and Twitter Medium/
Accounts live and linked to SW pages and other relevant sites
Section 3—Other
Alter emphasis to target route 1 High Altered posters and recruitment drive to focus on route 1 only
Close monitoring of recruitment rates and monthly recruitment targets High Figures examined weekly
Research network support High Area specific strategies given to network staff to implement locally
CLRN nurse in Trent trained and engaged with CLRN in South West England
Establish links with other health professionals High to medium TMG members presented at dietetics meetings as well as to gym managers and fitness club managers
Specialist weight management clinic advertising study
Collaborate with other weight loss studies Medium Unsuccessful due to lack of studies.
Maximize use of flagging systems on practice databases Medium Unsuccessful due to complexities of various practice systems
Manage screening process and follow up of route 2 participants Medium Contact maintained with route 2 participants but emphasis that they must contact the study team with evidence of their weight loss
Attend and present at local health events Low 2 events attended but little impact on recruitment
Section 4—actions not pursued (and reasons why)
Use pharmacies as PICs High Not pursued due to resource implications involved in training sites
Complete database searches for PICs High Not pursued due to lack of REC approval
Increase visits to PICs to problem solve Low Not pursued due to lack of resource and likely low impact on recruitment rates
Link in with relevant patient groups Low Not pursued as study closed to recruitment
Target discussion forums/threads on the internet Low Not pursued as study closed to recruitment
Create links with other slimming groups Low Not pursued due to SW involvement
Placing adverts Medium Attempted to advertise on relevant internet sites but they were not appropriate/willing
Paper, TV and radio—cost proved too expensive
Identify a local celebrity to champion the study Medium Attempted but unsuccessful
  1. GP general practitioner, SW slimming world, HQ head quarters, PIC participant identification centre, CLRN comprehensive local research network, REC research ethics committee