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QUESTS researchers recently published a protocol for a Cochrane Review which aims to investigate factors that impact on recruitment to randomised trials in health care. The review will comprise a qualitative evidence synthesis, a current strength of the QUESTS team.

This qualitative evidence synthesis will explore the perceptions and experiences of potential and actual participants and trial recruiters to improve understanding of how interventions, strategies and processes of recruitment to RCTs potentially work for specific groups across different settings and contexts. The review aims to describe recruiters’ perceptions and experiences of recruiting participants to RCTs, potential and actual participants’ perceptions and experiences of recruitment to RCTs, and why potential participants accept or decline participation in RCTs. It will also explore the barriers and facilitators to participation in RCTs, how perceptions and experiences of trial recruitment interventions, strategies and processes influence the decision-making of potential and actual participants, and to what extent the barriers and facilitators identified are addressed by interventions and strategies designed to improve recruitment evaluated in a previously published Cochrane review (Treweek 2010).

The review team comprises a team of researchers from QUESTS (Dr Catherine Houghton, Dr Maura Dowling, Dr Pauline Meskell, Dr Andrew Hunter and Dr Linda Biesty), along with colleagues from the HRB TMRN (Prof Declan Devane and Aislinn Conway), Trial Forge (Heidi Gardner and Prof Shaun Treweek) and Dr Katy Sutcliffe (UCL), Prof Jane Noyes (Bangor University), and Jane Nicholas (NUI, Galway).