E-mail invitations to general practitioners were as effective as postal invitations and were more efficient

Shaun Treweek, Karen Barnett, Graeme Maclennan, Debbie Bonetti, Martin P Eccles, Jillian Joy Francis, Claire Jones, Nigel B Pitts, Ian W Ricketts, Mark Weal, Frank Sullivan

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Abstract

Objective
To evaluate which of two invitation methods, e-mail or post, was most effective at recruiting general practitioners (GPs) to an online trial.

Study Design and Setting
Randomized controlled trial. Participants were GPs in Scotland, United Kingdom.

Results
Two hundred and seventy GPs were recruited. Using e-mail did not improve recruitment (risk difference = 0.7% [95% confidence interval -2.7% to 4.1%]). E-mail was, however, simpler to use and cheaper, costing £3.20 per recruit compared with £15.69 for postal invitations. Reminders increased recruitment by around 4% for each reminder sent for both invitation methods.

Conclusions
In the Scottish context, inviting GPs to take part in an online trial by e-mail does not adversely affect recruitment and is logistically easier and cheaper than using postal invitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-797
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume65
Issue number7
Early online date4 Feb 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • recruitment
  • randomized controlled trials
  • e-mail
  • postal
  • reminders
  • primary care

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    Treweek, S., Barnett, K., Maclennan, G., Bonetti, D., Eccles, M. P., Francis, J. J., Jones, C., Pitts, N. B., Ricketts, I. W., Weal, M., & Sullivan, F. (2012). E-mail invitations to general practitioners were as effective as postal invitations and were more efficient. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 65(7), 793-797. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.11.010