HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Recruitment of veterans from primary care into a physical activity randomized controlled trial: the experience of the VA-STRIDE study.
Hawkins MS, Hough LJ, Berger MA, Mor MK, Steenkiste AR, Gao S, Stone RA, Burkitt KH, Marcus BH, Ciccolo JT, Kriska AM, Klinvex DT, Sevick MA. Recruitment of veterans from primary care into a physical activity randomized controlled trial: the experience of the VA-STRIDE study. Trials. 2014 Jan 7; 15(1):11.
Much of the existing literature on physical activity (PA) interventions involves physically inactive individuals recruited from community settings rather than clinical practice settings. Recruitment of patients into interventions in clinical practice settings is difficult due to limited time available in the clinic, identification of appropriate personnel to efficiently conduct the process, and time-consuming methods of recruitment. The purpose of this report is to describe the approach used to identify and recruit veterans from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Pittsburgh Healthcare System Primary Care Clinic into a randomized controlled PA study.
A sampling frame of veterans was developed using the VA electronic medical record. During regularly scheduled clinic appointments, primary care providers (PCPs) screened identified patients for safety to engage in moderate-intensity PA and willingness to discuss the study with research staff members. Research staff determined eligibility with a subsequent telephone screening call and scheduled a research study appointment, at which time signed informed consent and baseline measurements were obtained.
Of the 3,482 veterans in the sampling frame who were scheduled for a primary care appointment during the study period, 1,990 (57.2%) were seen in the clinic and screened by the PCP; moderate-intensity PA was deemed safe for 1,293 (37.1%), 871 (25.0%) agreed to be contacted for further screening, 334 (9.6%) were eligible for the study, and 232 (6.7%) enrolled.
Using a semiautomated screening approach that combined an electronically-derived sampling frame with paper and pencil prescreening by PCPs and research staff, VA-STRIDE was able to recruit 1 in 15 veterans in the sampling frame. Using this approach, a high proportion of potentially eligible veterans were screened by their PCPs.
Clinical trials.gov identifier: NCT00731094.