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Prescreening clinical trial volunteers using an online personality questionnaire

Authors Patrick F, Young AH, Williams SCR, Perkins AM

Received 28 March 2018

Accepted for publication 23 May 2018

Published 5 September 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 2297—2303


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Fiona Patrick,1 Allan H Young1,2 Steven CR Williams,2,3 Adam M Perkins1,2

1Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK; 2National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; 3Department of Neuroimaging, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK

The cost of a clinical trial is affected by the efficiency of participant recruitment. It would be desirable to create a prescreening method that identifies appropriate candidates for full screening, in order to prevent inconvenience for both trial and volunteers. This study presents an online prescreening tool for this purpose.
Methods: In order to facilitate recruitment of 24 individuals meeting the criteria for generalized anxiety disorder to a pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging trial, we created an online personality questionnaire that generated a personality profile for each respondent and screened for the trial’s basic criteria.
Results: Our online platform screened 6,293 people for anxious personality traits in 1 year. A total of 862 eligible individuals were identified through this route, each of whom automatically received an email invitation to contact the study team for further telephone screening, if interested. Of those, 266 individuals contacted the team and 173 were telephone screened, with 53 attending the study site for medical checks. Twenty-eight individuals were fully eligible, and 24 completed the trial. This permitted completion on time and on budget.
Conclusion: Our online prescreening personality questionnaire platform did not remove the need for telephone screening or onsite medical checks, but increased the efficiency of recruitment through noninvasive identification of those meeting key requirements. Thus, our platform is a useful recruitment technique for clinical trials and is time-saving for both the trial and potential participants.

Keywords: recruitment, prescreening, personality, mental health, clinical trials

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