Does the provision of a DVD-based audio-visual presentation improve recruitment in a clinical trial? A randomised trial of DVD trial invitations

Amy Rogers (Lead / Corresponding author), Robert Flynn, Isla Mackenzie, Thomas MacDonald

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Recruitment to clinical trials can be challenging. Methods that improve the efficiency of trial recruitment are needed to increase successful study completions. The aim of this study was to ascertain whether sending an audio-visual presentation on a digital versatile disc (DVD), along with usual study invitation materials, would improve recruitment to the Febuxostat versus Allopurinol Streamlined Trial (FAST), a clinical trial in patients with established gout.

Methods: Potential participants for the FAST study who were identified by searches of GP records in Scottish primary care practices between August 2013 and July 2014 were included in this study. Individuals were randomly allocated to receive either a standard invitation (letter and information leaflet) or a standard invitation and a DVD containing an audio-visual presentation explaining the background and operation of FAST. Data on invitation response rates, screening attendances and randomisations were collected by research nurses.

Results: One thousand fifty potential participants were invited to take part in FAST during this period. 509 individuals were randomised to receive the DVD presentation and the standard invitation and 541 received a standard invitation only. DVD recipients were less likely to respond to the initial invitation (adjusted OR 0.76, CI 0.58-0.99) and marginally less likely to return a positive response (OR 0.75, CI 0.59-0.96). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in attendance for screening or randomisation. The DVD did not influence the age, gender, or socioeconomic deprivation scores of those responding positively to a letter of invitation.

Conclusions: The inclusion of a DVD presentation with FAST study invitations did not make any practical difference to the rate of positive response to invitation. Further innovation and evaluation will be required to improve recruitment to clinical trials.

Trial registration: EU Clinical Trials Register. EudraCT Number: 2011-001883-23. ISRCTN registry. ISRCTN72443278.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019


  • Clinical trials
  • recruitment
  • informed consent
  • DVD
  • Audiovisual Aids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics


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