Recruitment challenges and strategies in a home-based telehealth study

Debra Parker Oliver, George Demiris, Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles, Karla Washington, Davina Porock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The difficulty in recruiting subjects for home-based telehealth research is well documented. This article shares the recruitment statistics and experiences in the Assessment of Caregivers for Team Intervention via Videophone Encounters pilot study, a home-based telehealth intervention. The study obtained 83% of the desired sample. Challenges included issues with initial inclusion criteria, weather-related problems, timely referrals and follow-up, the enrollment process, the need for multiple visits, and unforeseen cases of multiple caregivers. Detailed monitoring and tracking of recruitment statistics and immediate response to overcome challenges were critical to the eventual recruitment success. Strategies included the reallocation of resources to add a second research site, adjustments in inclusion criteria, process improvement with the hospice admissions process, and strategies to address staff gate-keeping. Recruitment continues to be an important barrier to home-based telehealth research and the sharing of recruitment statistics, challenges, and strategies can be beneficial. Gathering of recruitment data is a critical component of pilot studies, which assists in the development of successful randomized clinical trials for future home-based telehealth research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-843
Number of pages5
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


  • hospice
  • intervention research
  • palliative care
  • recruitment


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