Barriers and strategies for recruiting study participants in clinical settings

Susan Sullivan-Bolyai, Carol Bova, Janet A. Deatrick, Kathy Knafl, Margaret Grey, Katherine Leung, Allison Trudeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recruiting participants for research studies is often a challenging task. Recruitment requires careful planning, collaboration, and flexibility on the part of researchers and health care providers at the recruitment sites. This article describes six major barriers to recruiting study participants as identified from a review of the literature and from the coauthors' research experiences. These barriers include challenges related to regulations of the Health Insurance Portabililty and Accountability Act (HIPAA), health care providers' work burden, providers' financial disincentives, competition, health care provider concerns regarding research, and provider protection of patients. Each barrier is described, and specific strategies are suggested based on the empirical literature. In some instances, the coauthors' experiences are also shared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-500
Number of pages15
JournalWestern Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Clinical research
  • Participant recruitment
  • Recruitment barriers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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