Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6611-6629; doi:10.3390/ijerph10126611
Article

Recruiting Hard-to-Reach Subjects for Exercise Interventions: A Multi-Centre and Multi-Stage Approach Targeting General Practitioners and Their Community-Dwelling and Mobility-Limited Patients

2 Department of Sports Medicine and Sports Nutrition, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany 3 Institute of General Practice and Family Medicine, Witten/Herdecke University, 58448 Witten, Germany 4 Institute of General Practice, Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany 5 Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiolgy, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany 6 Impairment Control, Capacity Building & Health Maintenance Unit, Swiss Paraplegic Research, 6207 Nottwil, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2013; in revised form: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 22 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care for Old People)
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Abstract: The general practitioner (GP)’s practice appears to be an ideal venue for recruiting community-dwelling older adults with limited mobility. This study (Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN17727272) aimed at evaluating the recruiting process used for a multi-centre exercise intervention (HOMEfit). Each of six steps resulted in an absolute number of patients (N1–N6). Sex and age (for N4–N6) and reasons for dropping out were assessed. Patient database screening (N1–N3) at 15 GP practices yielded N1 = 5,990 patients aged 70 and above who had visited their GP within the past 6 months, N2 = 5,467 after exclusion of institutionalised patients, N3 = 1,545 patients eligible. Using a pre-defined limitation algorithm in order to conserve the practices’ resources resulted in N4 = 1,214 patients (80.3 ± 5.6 years, 68% female), who were then officially invited to the final assessment of eligibility at the GP’s practice. N5 = 434 patients (79.5 ± 5.4 years, 69% female) attended the practice screening (n = 13 of whom had not received an official invitation). Finally, N6 = 209 (79.8 ± 5.2 years, 74% female) were randomised after they were judged eligible and had given their written informed consent to participate in the randomised controlled trial (overall recruitment rate: 4.4%). The general strategy of utilising a GP’s practice to recruit the target group proved beneficial. The data and experiences presented here can help planners of future exercise-intervention studies.
Keywords: general practitioner; recruitment; mobility limitation; exercise; older adults; selection bias

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MDPI and ACS Style

Brach, M.; Moschny, A.; Bücker, B.; Klaaßen-Mielke, R.; Trampisch, M.; Wilm, S.; Platen, P.; Hinrichs, T. Recruiting Hard-to-Reach Subjects for Exercise Interventions: A Multi-Centre and Multi-Stage Approach Targeting General Practitioners and Their Community-Dwelling and Mobility-Limited Patients. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 6611-6629.

AMA Style

Brach M, Moschny A, Bücker B, Klaaßen-Mielke R, Trampisch M, Wilm S, Platen P, Hinrichs T. Recruiting Hard-to-Reach Subjects for Exercise Interventions: A Multi-Centre and Multi-Stage Approach Targeting General Practitioners and Their Community-Dwelling and Mobility-Limited Patients. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(12):6611-6629.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brach, Michael; Moschny, Anna; Bücker, Bettina; Klaaßen-Mielke, Renate; Trampisch, Matthias; Wilm, Stefan; Platen, Petra; Hinrichs, Timo. 2013. "Recruiting Hard-to-Reach Subjects for Exercise Interventions: A Multi-Centre and Multi-Stage Approach Targeting General Practitioners and Their Community-Dwelling and Mobility-Limited Patients." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 12: 6611-6629.

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