Recruiting Phobic Research Subjects

In: Anesthesia

22 Dec 2009


The importance of evidence-based practice has resulted in increasing reliance on clinical trials. A critical aspect of clinical trials is subject recruitment. The tendency to be avoidant makes the anxious population particularly difficult to recruit for studies and increases their time and budget. We were in the situation of having to recruit for a randomized clinical trial studying possible benefits of combining alprazolam with exposure therapy in the treatment of dental injection phobia. Biel-ski and Lydiard surveyed 18 investigators who had conducted studies testing psychotropic agents. The majority of subjects were recruited through newspaper advertising. The advertising budget ranged from $20,000 to $280,753, and the recruitment cost per subject varied from $83 to $1586. However, few studies have examined recruitment issues for trials involving dental treatment.

The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the recruitment process, advertisement strategies, and costs of recruitment advertising for a large clinical trial. The goal was to identify the recruitment sources that were the most effective in recruiting subjects with dental injection phobia. We hypothesized that methods that offer frequent reminders, such as posters, would be most effective.
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Blog invites submissions of review articles, reports on clinical techniques, case reports, conference summaries, and articles of opinion pertinent to the control of pain and anxiety in dentistry.