It can be difficult to recruit a diverse and qualified research cohort. Obstacles may exist across the recruitment process at individual, study, and institutional levels. CTSI's various approaches to reducing recruitment barriers are depicted below:
CTSI recruitment facilitators are available to meet with study teams to develop participant recruitment strategies, provide an overview of recruitment tools, resources, and methods, and assist with using social media to promote research studies.
The Pitt+Me Research Recruitment Program is a first-of-its-kind multimedia and digital messaging program, designed to engage the public and increase participation in research studies. A fundamental component of this program is the Pitt+Me Registry, a database of adult and pediatric participants who have signed up to find out more about local research opportunities.
Pediatric PittNet is a partnership of clinical investigators and more than 30 pediatric primary care practices in 54 pediatric offices that support participant recruitment, study postings, and on-site screening and enrollment done by PittNet nurses in select practices.
The Trial Innovation Network is a national collaborative initiative across the CTSA program that supports planning and implementation of multi-center clinical trials.
ACT is a web-based multi-site tool that helps researchers assess the availability of patient populations at academic medical centers across the United States via self-directed electronic heath record searches. It helps with cohort discovery to determine study feasibility, study design, and identifying additional sites for a multi-site clinical trial.
CTSI Community PARTners facilitates relationships between community organizations and researchers to enhance collaborative research, foster public trust in research, and ultimately increase activities that promote health.
CTSI Integrating Special Populations (ISP) Program provides guidance and resources on best practices for recruitment, specimen collection, and research methodologies that facilitates outreach to special populations or underrepresented populations in biomedical research (UBR) including pregnant women, newborns, children, older adults, individuals with disabilities, African Americans, and other ethnic minorities, people living in rural areas, and the LGBTQ communities.
MACRO brings research to patients in acute care settings, such as the emergency department, ICU, and operating rooms. MACRO provides 24/7 screening and enrollment of research participants in these clinical settings.
NuRSERy was created to facilitate and expand pediatric research that begins with the birth of a child. NuRSERy is based at the UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and provides on-site staff to coordinate participant recruitment and consent, perform study procedures, and schedule visits and follow-up of participants.
The Recruitment Playbook provides researchers and their teams with a customized catalog of recruitment resources that can be used throughout the recruitment process — from developing a recruitment plan to identifying additional strategies while actively recruiting.