Promoting Recruitment using Information Management Efficiently (PRIME): study protocol for a stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial within the REstart or STop Antithrombotics Randomised Trial (RESTART)

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Abstract

Background
Research into methods to boost recruitment has been identified as the highest priority for randomised controlled trial (RCT) methodological research in the United Kingdom. Slow recruitment delays the delivery of research and inflates costs. Using electronic patient records has been shown to boost recruitment to ongoing RCTs in primary care by identifying potentially eligible participants, but this approach remains relatively unexplored in secondary care, and for stroke in particular.

Methods/design
The REstart or STop Antithrombotics Randomised Trial (RESTART; ISRCTN71907627) is an ongoing RCT of secondary prevention after stroke due to intracerebral haemorrhage. Promoting Recruitment using Information Management Efficiently (PRIME) is a stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial of a complex intervention to help RESTART sites increase their recruitment and attain their own target numbers of participants. Seventy-two hospital sites that were located in England, Wales or Scotland and were active in RESTART in June 2015 opted into PRIME. Sites were randomly allocated (using a computer-generated block randomisation algorithm, stratified by hospital location in Scotland vs. England/Wales) to one of 12 months in which the intervention would be delivered. All sites began in the control state. The intervention was delivered by a recruitment co-ordinator via a teleconference with each site. The intervention involved discussing recruitment strategies, providing software for each site to extract from their own stroke audit data lists of patients who were potentially eligible for RESTART, and a second teleconference to review progress 6 months later. The recruitment co-ordinator was blinded to the timing of the intervention until 2 months before it was due at a site. Staff at RESTART sites were blinded to the nature and timing of the intervention. The primary outcome is the total number of patients randomised into RESTART per month per site and will be analysed in a negative binomial generalised linear mixed model. PRIME began in September 2015. The last intervention was delivered in August 2016. Six-month follow-up will be complete in February 2017.

Discussion
The final results of PRIME will be analysed and disseminated in 2017.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrials
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

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