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Broyles LM, Rodriguez KL, Price PA, Bayliss NK, Sevick MA. Overcoming barriers to the recruitment of nurses as participants in health care research. Qualitative Health Research. 2011 Dec 1; 21(12):1705-18.
Adequate participant recruitment is critical for the successful execution of research studies involving human subjects. Participant recruitment can be particularly challenging when the intended study participants are health care providers as opposed to patients. Discussions of the challenges and successful strategies associated with provider recruitment are limited, particularly regarding providers other than physicians and settings outside of primary care. Using a case study format, we present our experiences recruiting inpatient nurses into a study which involved focus group methodology at a United States Veterans Health Administration facility. We describe the initial logistical and ethical issues involved, various challenges we encountered, and five successful action strategies used during a second recruitment wave addressing logistical issues; on-site recruitment; increased scheduling flexibility and peer-to-peer recruitment; attention to the sensitive nature of the research topic; and increased involvement of stakeholders. In conclusion, we advocate for multimodal recruitment strategies that facilitate ongoing investigator-clinician partnerships.