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J Ment Health. 2014 Oct;23(5):225-30. doi: 10.3109/09638237.2014.924051. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Successful recruitment to a study of first-episode psychosis by clinicians: a qualitative account of outcomes and influences on process.

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Metro North Mental Health, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital , Herston, Queensland , Australia .


Abstract Background: Strategies proposed to promote recruitment of representative samples to trials and mental health research have focused on researchers external to clinical services. How clinicians approach recruitment as researchers and particularities of recruiting people with first episode of psychosis warrant investigation.


To describe recruitment, by clinicians, of people with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and factors influencing process and enrolment.


Observational study nested within longitudinal examination of trauma and outcomes for patients experiencing first psychotic episode. Data collected during 20 scheduled meetings of clinicians recruiting from services in Australia.


Timely recruitment of 60 young people demonstrates that clinicians can successfully engage patients in research. Success depends on satisfaction of organisational preconditions and clinician motivation grounded in considering the study worthwhile. Pre-selection of participants was informed by judgments about health, insight and quality of the therapeutic alliance. Patients' decisions were influenced by family support, acceptance of diagnosis and altruism. Honoraria had variable effect.


Clinicians are well placed to recruit when appropriately supported, and people with FEP are willing to engage in research that fits their personal circumstances. Research should examine the meaning of participation in such studies and ways participation could support recovery.


Clinicians; first-episode psychosis; qualitative; recruitment

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