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Qual Health Res. 2019 Apr;29(5):672-679. doi: 10.1177/1049732319828693. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Intensive Triangulation of Qualitative Research and Quantitative Data to Improve Recruitment to Randomized Trials: The QuinteT Approach.

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1 University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can provide high quality evidence about the comparative effectiveness of health care interventions, but many RCTs struggle with or fail to complete recruitment. RCTs are built on the principles of the experimental method, but their planning, conduct, and interpretation can depend on complex social, behavioral, and cultural factors that may be best understood through qualitative research. Most qualitative studies undertaken alongside RCTs involve interviews that produce data that are used in a supportive or supplicatory role, but there is potential for qualitative research to be more influential. In this article, we describe the research methods underpinning the "QuinteT" (Qualitative Research Integrated Within Trials) approach to understand and address RCT recruitment difficulties. The QuinteT Recruitment Intervention (QRI) brings together multiple qualitative strategies and quantitative data and uses triangulation to understand recruitment issues rapidly. These nuanced understandings are used to inform the implementation of collaborative actions to improve recruitment.


clinical trials; communication; epidemiology; interviews; methodology; observation; qualitative; randomised controlled trials; sociology


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