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Table 2 Summary of challenges associated with recruitment in co-design research

From: Recruitment of caregivers into health services research: lessons from a user-centred design study

Research Phase




Grant writing

- Limited experience with co-design research

- Limited knowledge of recruitment strategies

- Limited anticipation of time, human resources, and costs associated with recruitment

Engaging one family caregiver on the research team at the time of grant writing

- Self-training the co-design research within limited time

- Stress and time pressure especially close to the grant submission time

Planning for data collection

- Limited familiarity with family caregiver’s context and realities

- Non-feasibility of research methods in the original grant proposal

(Re) co-designing methods with trusted community caregivers organizations

- Traveling costs to visit community partners

- Time to build trust with community partners

Data collection

- Ensuring shared understanding and building trust

- Accommodating family caregivers’ preferences for time and locations

- Prolonged data collection process longer than anticipated

- Frequent email communications with interested family caregivers prior to FGs

- Seeking extension from funder

- Time

- Long distance travels

- Working with limited financial and human resources

Recruitment Strategies

 Partnering with caregiver organizations

- Slow and lengthy process due to missing resources, mutual misunderstanding, and absent trust

- Misalignment of values, roles and expectations

- Constant communications with to build trust and to (re)co-design the research methodology

- Human, time, and financial resources

 Social and print media

- High cost compared to least effectiveness

- Receiving many irrelevant email inquiries

- Designing professional social and print media

- High financial cost

- Time

 Flyers in geriatrics clinics

Clinic staff time constraints, bureaucratic rules and procedures, and potential of perceived competing interests

- Designing professional yet lay-public friendly flyers

- Time and financial resources associated with designing professional flyers

 Traditional snowball sampling

-Least effective in recruiting

- Relying on word-of-mouth referrals

- Seeking recruited family caregivers to engage other family caregivers

- Time