Recruiting general practice patients for large clinical trials: lessons from the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) study


Jessica E Lockery, Taya A Collyer, Walter P Abhayaratna, Sharyn M Fitzgerald, John J McNeil, Mark R Nelson, Suzanne G Orchard, Christopher Reid, Nigel P Stocks, Ruth E Trevaks and Robyn Woods.

The Medical Journal of Australia 2019; published online 28 January 2019​. DOI: 10.5694/mja2.12060

The known: Enrolling general practitioners as co‐investigators has been a successful approach to recruiting community‐dwelling patients for longitudinal research.

The new: ASPREE reduced barriers to recruitment by easing the burden on GPs, remunerating practices for their involvement, and recognising GPs as associate investigators. Participants were recruited most efficiently in regional locations and areas with higher proportions of people in the target demographic group. By analysing GP and population data, ASPREE was able to adapt its strategy, successfully reaching its recruitment goals.

The implications: General practice is a rich environment for clinical research, and could be better exploited by establishing a national general practice‐based research network.

Related Research Areas

  • Clinical research and infection prevention
  • Key populations