Does a video clip enhance recruitment into a parenting trial? Learnings from a study within a trial

Holly C. Mattock, Rachael Ryan, Christine O’Farrelly, Daphne Babalis, Paul G. Ramchandani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Reaching recruitment targets in randomised controlled trials is a challenge. Media tools are increasingly used to engage participants, yet there is a paucity of research into the use of video to optimise recruitment. We therefore tested whether adding a participant information video clip to a standard participant information sheet improved recruitment into a parenting trial. Methods: One hundred seven participants were randomised to receive either a participant information sheet (n = 51) or an informational video clip (n = 56) as part of an email contact following a screening phase. All participants went on to receive the information sheet as part of the existing consent procedure. Results: The video condition did not increase the odds of recruitment into the trial, such that those in the video condition were significantly less likely to participate in the main trial (OR = 0.253, CI = 0.104–0.618, p = 0.003). Conclusion: The introduction of a video clip into the recruitment stages of a parenting trial did not lead to an improvement in recruitment; however, the small sample size precludes definitive inferences. We offer reflections on challenges encountered in implementing the SWAT and suggestions for other researchers seeking to embed recruitment SWATs into similar trials. Trial registration: Current controlled trials ISRCTN 58327365. Registered on 19 March 2015. SWAT registration: SWAT 106; Effects of a video clip on recruitment into a randomised trial. Registered on 20 December 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number856
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Imperial Biomedical Research Centre and Imperial Clinical Trials Unit based at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London. The Healthy Start, Happy Start study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (Grant Reference Number 13/04/33). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care. Acknowledgements

Funding Information:
The present SWAT is hosted by the Healthy Start, Happy Start (HS,HS) study. The HS,HS study is a UK-based RCT funded by the NIHR. HS,HS aims to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) in preventing enduring behavioural problems in young children aged 12–36 months (see Ramchandani et al. [] for further details of the protocol).

Availability of data and materials
The de-identified data included in the paper will be available 12 months following publication and for 5 years after the date of publication. Data will be made available to researchers who provide a methodologically sound and hypothesis-driven proposal and have the required institutional approvals in place to achieve the aims in the approved proposal. To gain access to the data, proposals should be directed to Professor Paul Ramchandani for approval by the investigator group. Requestors will be asked to sign a data access agreement. The study protocol and consent form will also be made available.


  • Patient information
  • Recruitment
  • Research methodology
  • Video clip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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