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Table 1 Summary of the four main barriers to recruiting psychosis carers

From: Barriers to recruiting and retaining psychosis carers: a case study on the lessons learned from the Caring for Caregivers (C4C) trial

BarrierSummarySuggested approach to minimise impact
Poor relationships with mental health cliniciansA negative relationship with the referring clinician is likely to make the carer less receptive to the research studyTarget those services that are carer friendly
Conflicting with the care recipient’s needsIf the care recipient does not approve of the study then it can make it difficult for the carer to be involvedBe transparent about the details of the project with any care recipients that make contact, while protecting participant confidentiality
Make study documentation available to the care recipient
Use terms such as ‘family and friends’ instead of carer
Lack of spare time
 Carers’ frustration at the delay between research and implementationResearch takes time, but carers are looking for immediate solutions to their problemsKeep carers updated about the progress of the study
Develop a clear and realistic dissemination and implementation plan, ideally with input from a lived experience group
 Impact of caregiving demandsIt can be difficult to balance the time commitment involved in caring and being a research participantMake the study design flexible and pragmatic to accommodate for the demands of caring
Minimise the burden of the research on participants, for example keeping questionnaires short
Allow for generous attrition rates (i.e. > 33%) in sample size calculations
Lack of services for mental health carersCarers can be hard to reach as the usual means of advertising clinical trials are not availableBe creative in how you promote the research study, beyond the strategies usually employed in clinical trials
Consider making relationships with and promoting your project in settings beyond healthcare services
Encourage snowball recruitment