Bureaucracy stifling studies

August 13, 2009

A group of researchers whose planned leg ulceration study was hamstrung by a physician recruitment rate of 2% have published the reasons why so many doctors turned them down. The qualitative information, featured in the open access journal BMC Medical Research Methodology, should be of use to those designing trials of their own.

Dr. Oliver Herber, from the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany, worked with a team of researchers to collate the overwhelmingly negative responses received from their potential pool of 1822 medical practices. He said, "Interdisciplinary research studies, especially those between the medical and nursing professions, require careful consideration in the development and tailoring of research designs. To reduce rates of refusal and lack of initial contact, the time, money and effort needed during the planning and recruitment phase of a study must not be underestimated".

Problems identified by Herber and his colleagues include the fact that first contact with most surgeries is through non-medical admin staff who are expert at deflecting all but essential calls. They are especially unlikely to 'put through' non-doctors and may not have a doctor's appreciation for the importance of the study to be carried out. Other factors include GPs' fear of extra work, especially if that work will not be rewarded monetarily, and fear that the results of a study will somehow be used to assess them.

Speaking about the implications of this study for people designing trials, Herber said, "A sustainable and reliable network of teaching surgeries demonstrating interest in research is vital for the successful execution of scientific studies"

More information: Recruitment rates and reasons for community physicians' non-participation in an interdisciplinary intervention study on leg ulceration; Oliver R Herber, Wilfried Schnepp and Monika A Rieger; BMC Medical Research Methodology (in press), www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmedresmethodol/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.