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E-mail invitations to general practitioners were as effective as postal invitations and were more efficient

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Martin Eccles, Dr Jill Francis


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Objective: To evaluate which of two invitation methods, e-mail or post, was most effective at recruiting general practitioners (GPs) to an online trial. Study Design and Setting: Randomized controlled trial. Participants were GPs in Scotland, United Kingdom. Results: Two hundred and seventy GPs were recruited. Using e-mail did not improve recruitment (risk difference = 0.7% [95% confidence interval -2.7% to 4.1%]). E-mail was, however, simpler to use and cheaper, costing 3.20 pound per recruit compared with 15.69 pound for postal invitations. Reminders increased recruitment by around 4% for each reminder sent for both invitation methods. Conclusions: In the Scottish context, inviting GPs to take part in an online trial by e-mail does not adversely affect recruitment and is logistically easier and cheaper than using postal invitations. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Treweek S, Barnett K, MacLennan G, Bonetti D, Eccles MP, Francis JJ, Jones C, Pitts NB, Ricketts IW, Weal M, Sullivan F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology

Year: 2012

Volume: 65

Issue: 7

Pages: 793-797

Print publication date: 04/02/2012

ISSN (print): 0895-4356

ISSN (electronic): 1878-5921

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.11.010


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Funder referenceFunder name
Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates
CZH/4/610Chief Scientist Office