↓ Skip to main content

Recruiting to a large-scale physical activity randomised controlled trial – experiences with the gift of hindsight

Overview of attention for article published in Trials, February 2016
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (86th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (81st percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
5 tweeters


12 Dimensions

Readers on

107 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Recruiting to a large-scale physical activity randomised controlled trial – experiences with the gift of hindsight
Published in
Trials, February 2016
DOI 10.1186/s13063-016-1229-0
Pubmed ID

Robert J. Copeland, Kimberley Horspool, Liam Humphreys, Emma Scott


Recruitment issues continue to impact a large number of trials. Sharing recruitment information is vital to supporting researchers to accurately predict recruitment and to manage the risk of poor recruitment during study design and implementation. The purpose of this article is to build on the knowledge available to researchers on recruiting to community-based trials. A critical commentary of the recruitment challenges encountered during the Booster Study, a randomised controlled trial in which researchers investigated the effectiveness of a motivational interviewing style intervention on the maintenance of physical activity. An overview of recruitment is provided, as well as strategies employed to recruit prospective participants and possible barriers to recruitment. Two hundred eighty-two people, 47 % of the original target, were recruited through mail-outs, with secondary recruitment pathways yielding no additional participants. The research team encountered problems with recontacting interested participants and providing study materials in non-English languages. A lower response rate to the mail-out and a greater number of non-contactable participants in the full study than in the pilot study resulted in a smaller pool of eligible participants from the brief intervention eligible for recruitment into the randomised controlled trial. Despite using widely accepted recruitment strategies and incorporating new recruitment tactics in response to challenges, the Booster Study investigators failed to randomise a sufficient number of participants. Recruitment in trials of community-based behavioural interventions may have different challenges than trials based on clinical or primary care pathways. Specific challenges posed by the complexity of the study design and problems with staffing and resources were exacerbated by the need to revise upwards the number of mailed invitations as a result of the pilot study. Researchers should ensure study design facilitates recruitment and consider the implications of changing recruitment on the operational aspects of the trial. Where possible, the impact of new strategies should be measured, and recruitment successes and challenges should be shared with those planning similar studies. ISRCTN56495859 (registered on 12 February 2009); NCT00836459 (registered on 3 February 2009).

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 5 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 107 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Unknown 106 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 17 16%
Student > Ph. D. Student 15 14%
Student > Bachelor 12 11%
Student > Master 11 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 8 7%
Other 14 13%
Unknown 30 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 27 25%
Nursing and Health Professions 15 14%
Psychology 8 7%
Social Sciences 8 7%
Sports and Recreations 6 6%
Other 8 7%
Unknown 35 33%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 11. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 24 February 2016.
All research outputs
of 7,374,182 outputs
Outputs from Trials
of 2,035 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 283,586 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Trials
of 123 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,374,182 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,035 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 5.6. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 283,586 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 123 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its contemporaries.