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Recruiting and Engaging With Study Participants

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Abstract

It is now widely acknowledged that qualitative research has a valid place within health care research and often adds context and further insights to the quantitative model of health care research. The importance of engaging with patients and service users for health care research is often cited as a key factor in the success of research studies within the United Kingdom. Although it is often easy to identify a research topic and gaps in knowledge for further exploration, engaging and recruiting participants for a study often presents challenges for the neophyte as well as experienced researchers. Although we would be classed as early career researchers in that we completed our PhDs in health care research within the last 10 years, we have between us gained insights into a variety of health care research within the U.K. health care systems and teach a variety of modules on research methodologies and professional health care practice. This case study aims to share some of the challenges and provide tips on how to engage with potential participants to health care research. Our aim through reading this case study is to ensure that your brilliant research topic and research questions are fully explored and don’t fail due to lack of participant engagement and recruitment. The case study focuses on one recent research study, but we draw upon other examples to demonstrate the often unspoken and unpublished difficulties of engaging and recruiting participants.

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