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Recruitment and Retention Strategies in the NIDA National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network SMART-ED Study.

Poster presented at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) annual meeting, Palm Springs, CA, June 9-14, 2012.

Lindsay M. Worth (University of New Mexico, SW Node), Alyssa A. Forcehimes, PhD (University of New Mexico, SW Node), Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD (University of New Mexico, SW Node), Roberta Chavez (University of New Mexico, SW Node), Harold I. Perl, PhD (National Institute on Drug Abuse), Raul N. Mandler, MD (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

Recruitment and retention are a challenging task in the most ideal of environments and difficulties in recruitment and retention can lead to a drain on resources and threaten study success. Recruiting substance users from a medical Emergency Department (ED) setting poses many unique challenges as does tracking these participants for follow-up assessment. The recruitment and retention procedures from a NIDA Clinical Trials Network protocol designed to test the impact of a brief intervention on individuals presenting in medical EDs who screen positive for problematic drug use are described (CTN-0047: "Screening Motivational Assessment and Referral to Treatment in Emergency Departments (SMART-ED)"). Recruitment and the initial baseline assessment for this study take place at six different EDs in the United States. The population recruited in this study are high risk drug users with problems in many life domains including acute medical concerns, homelessness, legal troubles, and other problems that make tracking and retention difficult. We present recruitment and retention strategies that are helping us achieve our recruitment goals and maintain impressive follow-up rates for a difficult population from the protocol that is currently underway. Two factors were found to be key to successful recruitment in this study: 1) Appropriate selection of ED sites that promote successful recruitment by having available adequate patient volume of drug users, past research experience, and available space and staff to conduct research. 2) Thorough staff training occurring pre and post-recruitment commencement to ensure that staff are prepared and continually educated in proper recruitment techniques. We have found that numerous strategies and ongoing development of techniques are integral to retention success, which can be grouped under the following headings:1) Ongoing training and collaboration among sites. 2) Use of techniques gleaned from past research. 3) Awareness of new trends emerging in the field such as texting and social networking.

Conclusions: Successfully addressing recruitment and retention issues are core to research success. (Poster, PowerPoint slides, English, 2012)

Keywords: CTN protocol development | Emergency departments | Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) | Recruitment | Research design | Retention - Research | College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) annual meeting, 2012

Document No: 846

Submitted by Lindsay Worth, 6/20/2012.


Bogenschutz, Michael P. mail
Chavez, Roberta
Forcehimes, Alyssa A. mail
Mandler, Raul N. mail
Perl, Harold I.
Worth, Lindsay M. mail
NIDA-CTN-0047 www

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
Updated 6/2012 --
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