What we learnt - recruiting prenatal mothers to an RCT addressing the prevention of overweight in early childhood?

Karen Wardle, Dean Murphy, Lynne Ireland, Cynthia Holbeck, Carol Davidson, Li Ming Wen, Chris Rissel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify and explore the experiences of recruiting prenatal women into a randomised control trial which involves a family-focused early intervention program addressing the prevention of overweight and obesity over the first two years of life. Design: A number of open-ended brainstorming sessions allowed the research nurses to self reflect on their recruitment experiences. These sessions were used to explore factors that impacted on recruitment. Setting: Recruitment for the trial took place in the antenatal clinics of two hospitals in south west Sydney (NSW Australia) from March 2007 - March 2008 one of the most socially and economically disadvantaged areas of Sydney. Main Outcome measures To gain insight into the issues surrounding recruitment of prenatal women and to identify the main themes that facilitated or impeded recruitment. Results: Findings suggested that recruitment to a randomised control trial in the prenatal period resulted in particular barriers. Three theme clusters were identified; engaging participants, content of informational material and organisational issues. Conclusion: Fostering stronger communication between research staff and clinical staff would have enabled easier identification of the target group and having access to the target population at earlier stages of pregnancy would have been beneficial. Recommendation Having a rigorous recruitment plan, and evaluating recruitment strategies in future studies of this nature, would be central to understanding why prenatal women involve themselves in research trials. Obtaining the assistance of clinical and administration staff with recruitment strategies would also be strongly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Health promotion
  • Overweight
  • Prenatal
  • Randomised control trial
  • Recruitment
  • Survey


Dive into the research topics of 'What we learnt - recruiting prenatal mothers to an RCT addressing the prevention of overweight in early childhood?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this