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Does a video clip enhance recruitment into a parenting trial? Learnings from a study within a trial

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Mattock, Holly C. 
Ryan, Rachael 
O’Farrelly, Christine 
Babalis, Daphne 
Ramchandani, Paul G. 


Abstract: Background: Reaching recruitment targets in randomised controlled trials is a challenge. Media tools are increasingly used to engage participants, yet there is a paucity of research into the use of video to optimise recruitment. We therefore tested whether adding a participant information video clip to a standard participant information sheet improved recruitment into a parenting trial. Methods: One hundred seven participants were randomised to receive either a participant information sheet (n = 51) or an informational video clip (n = 56) as part of an email contact following a screening phase. All participants went on to receive the information sheet as part of the existing consent procedure. Results: The video condition did not increase the odds of recruitment into the trial, such that those in the video condition were significantly less likely to participate in the main trial (OR = 0.253, CI = 0.104–0.618, p = 0.003). Conclusion: The introduction of a video clip into the recruitment stages of a parenting trial did not lead to an improvement in recruitment; however, the small sample size precludes definitive inferences. We offer reflections on challenges encountered in implementing the SWAT and suggestions for other researchers seeking to embed recruitment SWATs into similar trials. Trial registration: Current controlled trials ISRCTN 58327365. Registered on 19 March 2015. SWAT registration: SWAT 106; Effects of a video clip on recruitment into a randomised trial. Registered on 20 December 2016.


Funder: NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre; doi:


Research, Recruitment, Patient information, Research methodology, Video clip

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BioMed Central
Health Technology Assessment Programme (13/04/33)