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Qualitative study to understand the barriers to recruiting young people with cancer to BRIGHTLIGHT: a national cohort study in England

Kenten, Charlotte, Martins, Ana, Fern, Lorna A, Gibson, Faith, Lea, Sarah, Ngwenya, Nothando, Whelan, Jeremy S and Taylor, Rachel M (2017) Qualitative study to understand the barriers to recruiting young people with cancer to BRIGHTLIGHT: a national cohort study in England BMJ Open, 7 (11).

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Objectives: BRIGHTLIGHT is a national evaluation of cancer services for teenagers and young adults in England. Following challenges with recruitment, our aim was to understand more fully healthcare professionals’ perspectives of the challenges of recruiting young people to a low-risk observational study, and to provide guidance for future recruitment processes.

Design: Qualitative.

Setting: National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England.

Methods: Semistructured telephone interviews with a convenience sample of 23 healthcare professionals. Participants included principal investigators/other staff recruiting into the BRIGHTLIGHT study. Data were analysed using framework analysis.

Results: The emergent themes were linked to levels of research organisational management, described using the levels of social network analysis: micro-level (the individual; in this case the target population to be recruited—young people with cancer); meso-level (the organisation; refers to place of recruitment and people responsible for recruitment); and macro-level (the large-scale or global structure; refers to the wider research function of the NHS and associated policies). Study-related issues occurred across all three levels, which were influenced by the context of the study. At the meso-level, professionals’ perceptions of young people and communication between professionals generated age/cancer type silos, resulting in recruitment of either children or adults, but not both by the same team, and only in the cancer type the recruiting professional was aligned to. At the macro-level the main barrier was discordant configuration of a research service with a clinical service.

Conclusions: This study has identified significant barriers to recruitment mainly at the meso-level and macro-level, which are more challenging for research teams to influence. We suggest that interconnected whole-system changes are required to facilitate the success of interventions designed to improve recruitment. Interventions targeted at study design/management and the micro-level only may be less successful. We offer solutions to be considered by those involved at all levels of research for this population.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
Date : 8 November 2017
Identification Number : 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018291
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 14:04
Last Modified : 09 Nov 2017 14:04

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