Recruiting men from across the socioeconomic spectrum via GP registers and community outreach to a weight management feasibility randomised controlled trial

McDonald, M. D. et al. (2020) Recruiting men from across the socioeconomic spectrum via GP registers and community outreach to a weight management feasibility randomised controlled trial. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 20, 249. (doi: 10.1186/s12874-020-01136-2) (PMID:33023501) (PMCID:PMC7542377)

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Abstract

Background Men, particularly those living in disadvantaged areas, are less likely to participate in weight management programmes than women despite similar levels of excess weight. Little is known about how best to recruit men to weight management interventions. This paper describes patient and public involvement in pre-trial decisions relevant to recruitment and aims to report on recruitment to the subsequent men-only weight management feasibility trial, including the: i) acceptability and feasibility of recruitment; and ii) baseline sample characteristics by recruitment strategy. Methods Men with BMI ≥30 kg/m2 and/or waist circumference ≥ 40 in. were recruited to the feasibility trial via two strategies; community outreach (venue information stands and word of mouth) and GP letters, targeting disadvantaged areas. Recruitment activities (e.g. letters sent, researcher venue hours) were recorded systematically, and baseline characteristics questionnaire data collated. Qualitative interviews (n = 50) were conducted three months post-recruitment. Analyses and reporting followed a complementary mixed methods approach. Results 105 men were recruited within four months (community n = 60, GP letter n = 45). Community outreach took 2.3 recruiter hours per participant and GP letters had an opt-in rate of 10.2% (n = 90/879). More men were interested than could be accommodated. Most participants (60%) lived in more disadvantaged areas. Compared to community outreach, men recruited via GP letters were older (mean = 57 vs 48 years); more likely to report an obesity-related co-morbidity (87% vs 44%); and less educated (no formal qualifications, 32% vs 10%, degree educated 11% vs 41%). Recruitment strategies were acceptable, a sensitive approach and trusting relationships with recruiters valued, and the ‘catchy’ study name drew attention. Conclusions Targeted community outreach and GP letters were acceptable strategies that successfully recruited participants to a men-only weight management feasibility trial. Both strategies engaged men from disadvantaged areas, a typically underserved population. Using two recruitment strategies produced samples with different health risk profiles, which could add value to research where either primary or secondary prevention is of interest. Further work is required to examine how these strategies could be implemented and sustained in practice.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Consortia on behalf of the Game of Stones team Alison Avenell, Frank Kee, Michelle McKinley, Martin Tod & Marjon van der Pol.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gray, Professor Cindy and Calveley, Ms Eileen
Authors: McDonald, M. D., Dombrowski, S. U., Skinner, R., Calveley, E., Carroll, P., Elders, A., Gray, C. M., Grindle, M., Harris, F. M., Jones, C., and Hoddinott, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:BMC Medical Research Methodology
Publisher:BMC
ISSN:1471-2288
ISSN (Online):1471-2288
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s). 2020
First Published:First published in BMC Medical Research Methodology 20:249
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173862Feasibility study of how best to engage obese men in narrative SMS (short message system) and incentive interventions for weight loss, to inform a future effectiveness and cost-effectiveness trialUniversity of Stirling Project Ref: 05340Lucinda GrayNational Institute for Health Research (NIHR)PHR14/185/09S&PS - Institute of Health & Wellbeing (Social Sciences)