Addressing issues in recruitment and retention using feasibility and pilot trials

Shaun Treweek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recruiting and retaining trial participants, be they patients or health care professionals, can be extremely difficult. Many trials do not meet their recruitment targets, or do so only after extending the duration of the trial. Retention problems mean participants are lost to the trial and contribute little or no outcome data. These issues have important consequences: they may result in an underpowered trial which, in turn, may lead to non-significant results that nevertheless do not rule out the possibility of important benefits. This increases the risk that an effective intervention will be abandoned before its true value is appreciated, or leads to delay in demonstrating the benefits of an intervention while further trials are done. Ineffective interventions may remain in use longer than they should.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComplex Interventions in Health
Subtitle of host publicationAn Overview of Research Methods
EditorsDavid A. Richards, Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780203794982
ISBN (Print)9780415703147
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2015


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