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Type: Journal article
Title: Recruiting older people at nutritional risk for clinical trials: what have we learned?
Author: Piantadosi, C.
Chapman, I.
Naganathan, V.
Hunter, P.
Cameron, I.
Visvanathan, R.
Citation: BMC Research Notes, 2015; 8(1):151-1-151-7
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1756-0500
Statement of
Cynthia Piantadosi, Ian M Chapman, Vasi Naganathan, Peter Hunter, Ian D Cameron, and Renuka Visvanathan
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The difficulty of recruiting older people to clinical trials is well described, but there is limited information about effective ways to screen and recruit older people into trials, and the reasons for their reluctance to enrol. This paper examines recruitment efforts for a community-based health intervention study that targeted older adults. METHODS: One year randomized control trial. Undernourished men and women, aged ≥ 65 years and living independently in the community were recruited in three Australian states. Participants were allocated to either oral testosterone undecanoate and high calorie oral nutritional supplement or placebo medication and low calorie oral nutritional supplementation. Hospital admissions, functional status, nutritional health, muscle strength, and other variables were assessed. RESULTS: 4023 potential participants were identified and 767 were screened by a variety of methods: hospital note screening, referrals from geriatric health services, advertising and media segments/appearances. 53 participants (7% of total screened) were recruited. The majority of potentially eligible participants declined participation in the trial after reading the information sheet. Media was the more successful method of recruiting, whereas contacting people identified by screening a large number of hospital records was not successful in recruiting any participants. CONCLUSION: Recruitment of frail and older participants is difficult and multiple strategies are required to facilitate participation. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian Clinical Trial Registry: ACTRN 12610000356066 date registered 4/5/2010.
Keywords: Malnourished; Frail elderly; Patient recruitment; Randomized control trial; Frail
Rights: © 2015 Piantadosi et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030027598
DOI: 10.1186/s13104-015-1113-0
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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