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Recruiting participants for adult social care studies: challenges and mitigating strategies - methods review

Cyhlarova, Eva, Clark, Michael ORCID: 0000-0003-4964-5005 and Knapp, Martin ORCID: 0000-0003-1427-0215 (2020) Recruiting participants for adult social care studies: challenges and mitigating strategies - methods review. . NIHR, SSCR, London, UK.

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Challenges are often encountered in recruiting participants into adult social care research studies, while strategies to overcome them are not widely understood or shared. This Methods Review aimed to describe the challenges in recruiting organisations and individuals for adult social care research and identify possible strategies to address them. In semi-structured interviews, 17 senior researchers in the social care field were asked about their experiences of recruitment of research participants. One of the main barriers to recruitment was variation among provider organisations, so recruitment strategies needed to be adjusted for different organisations, many of which lacked capacity for research participation. The rapidly changing nature of adult social care organisation and delivery in England also means that recruitment strategies often need to be adapted while research is in progress. Building partnerships between researchers and providers and offering financial and other incentives were suggested as mitigating strategies. In recruiting individuals, a lack of understanding of research benefit and organisations’ gatekeeping arrangements were common difficulties. Interviewees suggested: raising public awareness of adult social care research; building relationships with user/carer groups; using a variety of recruitment strategies and offering a range of participation routes. Researchers and funding bodies should allow sufficient time and resources to recruit representative samples. Researchers should share recruitment knowledge. A limitation in this review is that the individuals who participated in the review may not be representative of all adult social care researchers. This review highlights opportunities for developing recruitment in adult social care research, such as improving recruitment and participation methods; investing in research support and research capacity and increasing public engagement with adult social care research.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 NIHR, SSCR
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 28 May 2020 13:18
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 13:31

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