Objective: To assess the effect of a personalized newsletter compared with a standard newsletter on patient recruitment in physiotherapy research.
Methods: We performed a cluster-randomized trial including 120 physiotherapists who recruited patients for a prospective cohort and were randomly assigned to either receiving personalized feedback in a newsletter (intervention group) or a standard newsletter (control group). We calculated the difference in the number of patients included in the study corrected for inclusion time between both groups.
Results: The physiotherapists in the control group (n = 59) included 110 patients (35.4% of the total number of patients included) compared with an inclusion of 200 patients (64.6% of the total number of patients included) by the physiotherapists in the intervention group (n = 61), a difference of 90 patients in favor of the intervention group. However, when corrected for inclusion time and a cluster effect, we found no statistically significant difference between both groups. In addition, therapists who did not include a single patient (inactive therapists) were evenly divided between the 2 groups (n = 29 [49%] in the control group; n = 30 [49%] in the intervention group).
Conclusions: A personalized newsletter does not significantly increase the number of recruited patients by physiotherapists. However, therapists receiving personalized feedback recruited nearly double the number of patients compared with the ones receiving standard feedback.
Author keywords: Patient Recruitment; Primary Care; Physiotherapy; Psychology; Clinical Trials, Randomized
Author affiliations: MTdG, YK: Department of General Practice, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Research Group Diagnostics, Avans University of Applied Science, Breda, Netherlands; REW, BS: Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands; ED: Research Group Diagnostics, Avans University of Applied Science, Breda, Netherlands; DR: Department of Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands; GGMSP: Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, Netherlands; APV: Department of General Practice, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Department of Physiotherapy, Graduate School of Health University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
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