242245 Costs of recruiting chronic lower back pain patients in two randomized controlled trials

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:18 PM

Paul Dougherty, DC , Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Canandaigua, New York and New York Chiropractic College, Seneca Falls, NY
Dorian Savino, MPA , Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Canandaigua, New York and New York Chiropractic College, Seneca Falls, NY
Lindsay Schaefer, MPA , Central NY Research Corporation, Rochester, NY
Introduction: Chronic lower back pain is a significant public health concern in the United States today, with an estimated $90 billion spent annually on this condition. In order to best assess and treat this important public health concern there is a need to conduct randomized controlled trials to evaluate treatment methods. One barrier to conducting research in this area is the ability to recruit and retain research participants. The purpose of this presentation is to describe our recruitment methods and to report on the differences between recruiting in a Veteran's Affairs (VA) Clinic and the private sector.

Methods: The research team is currently conducting two randomized clinical trials. For these trials the team has utilized multiple modalities for subject recruitment including; recruitment through primary care (PCP) referrals, media (print and radio advertisements as well as television public service announcements), brochures, direct mailings and posters with tear-off cards. Through these recruitment methods the team has phone screened 1,601 subjects. Of these subjects, 562 (35%) were physically screened to evaluate for inclusion in the studies. Of the 562 subjects physically screened, 271 (48%) were enrolled in the studies. It is important to note that the VA does not allow for paid advertising to recruit Veterans making recruitment of subjects into such research studies more difficult. Conclusion: The radio served as the best recruitment method for this study population. The total of $23,619.47 was spent over 3 years yielding 114 qualified subjects, at a cost of $207.19 spent per enrolled non-VA subject.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the need for research that systematically evaluates the treatment of chronic lower back pain. 2. List five different methods for recruitment of chronic lower back pain subjects. 3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of specific recruitment methods.

Keywords: Chiropractic, Outcomes Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator on the two described federally funded randomized controlled trials.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.