Developing a survey of barriers and facilitators to recruitment in randomized controlled trials.

Posted: Dec 18, 2012
Trials. 13. 1. 218. [Epub ahead of print]
KEYWORDS: Knowledge/Attitudes/Beliefs, Language or Cultural Barriers, Logistics/Transportation, Low Literacy, Non-English Speaking, Cost/Insurance, Remuneration, Incentives, Staff Experience Level, Physician Champions, Provider-Patient Relationship, International, Institutional Issues, Inadequate Staffing, Eligibility, Placebo, Study Burden, Financial Incentives, Non-Cancer, Cancer


New web-based survey tool helps clinical trial teams identify barriers and facilitators to improve recruitment practices.

Why this item may be useful

The authors developed a survey to help clinical teams monitor and improve their recruitment experiences. The short, easily administered survey includes a comprehensive list of evidence-based facilitators and barriers to recruitment. Responders grade each factor as a weak, intermediate, or strong facilitator or barrier. Other survey sections collect information about the responder’s role and about strategies used to address barriers during the course of the trial. The article includes a detailed table showing how the authors derived the facilitators and barriers from the literature.


  • Factors in the survey are classified as trial, site, patient, clinical team, information and consent, and study team.
  • The survey can be used in single- and multicenter trials in any clinical setting or specialty.
  • The tool was used to elicit barriers and facilitators to recruitment in a large multicenter randomized controlled trial with children in the United Kingdom (the MAGNETIC trial).
  • Estimated time to complete the survey is 11 minutes.