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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2007 Dec-2008 Jan;24(6):515-21. Epub 2007 Jun 29.

Recruiting participants in end-of-life research.

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School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53792-2455, USA.


A great deal of time, attention, and funding has been dedicated to research concerned with improving care at the end of life. However, sizes of samples for such research are reduced by recruitment problems unique to end-of-life studies, which limits their power and generalizability. In this article, experiences are shared and suggestions are offered to increase recruitment using 4 recent studies on end-of-life topics as examples. The issues in this article include those related to participants (patients or family members) and those related to the health care providers or systems. A researcher who is forewarned about higher-than-usual rates for lack of contact, refusals, and no-shows in end-of-life research can plan appropriately for the time and effort needed during the recruitment phase of the study.

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