Research Article  |   March 2013
Recruitment, Retention, and Blinding in Clinical Trials
Author Affiliations
  • Stephen J. Page, PhD, MS, MOT, OTR/L, FAHA, is Associate Professor and Director, Neuromotor Recovery and Rehabilitation Laboratory (the “Rehablab”®), Division of Occupational Therapy, Ohio State University Medical Center, 453 West Tenth Avenue, Suite 416, Columbus, OH 43210; Stephen.Page@osumc.edu
  • Andrew C. Persch, MS, OTR/L, is Graduate Assistant, Division of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Graduate Student, Doctor of Philosophy in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Special Issue on the Accelerating Clinical Trials and Outcomes Research (ACTOR) Conference
Research Article   |   March 2013
Recruitment, Retention, and Blinding in Clinical Trials
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2013, Vol. 67, 154-161. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.006197
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2013, Vol. 67, 154-161. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.006197
Abstract

The recruitment and retention of participants and the blinding of participants, health care providers, and data collectors present challenges for clinical trial investigators. This article reviews challenges and alternative strategies associated with these three important clinical trial activities. Common recruiting pitfalls, including low sample size, unfriendly study designs, suboptimal testing locations, and untimely recruitment are discussed together with strategies for overcoming these barriers. The use of active controls, technology-supported visit reminders, and up-front scheduling is recommended to prevent attrition and maximize retention of participants. Blinding is conceptualized as the process of concealing research design elements from key players in the research process. Strategies for blinding participants, health care providers, and data collectors are suggested.