Methods: This randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study investigated the efficacy of different amounts of total treatment dosage over 6 weeks in 60 volunteer subjects with lumbar spinal stenosis. Subjects were recruited for this study through several media venues, focusing on successful and cost-effective strategies. Included in our efforts were radio advertising, newspaper advertising, direct mail, and various other low-cost initiatives.
Results: Of the 1211 telephone screens, 60 responders (5.0%) were randomized into the study. The most successful recruitment method was radio advertising, generating more than 64% of the calls (776 subjects). Newspaper and magazine advertising generated approximately 9% of all calls (108 subjects), and direct mail generated less than 7% (79 subjects). The total direct cost for recruitment was $40 740 or $679 per randomized patient. The costs per randomization were highest for direct mail ($995 per randomization) and lowest for newspaper/magazine advertising ($558 per randomization).
Conclusions: Success of recruitment methods may vary based on target population and location. Planning of recruitment efforts is essential to the success of any clinical trial.
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