Objective: Recruitment to randomized clinical trials is expensive and often falls short of goals, limiting achievement of measurable outcomes. To prepare for a trial in patients with incomplete forms of lupus, a mock recruitment protocol was carried out at 4 proposed study sites. The objective was to determine levels of interest in patients and to uncover potential barriers to enrollment. Methods: After obtaining institutional review board approval, study coordinators approached individuals who generally fit proposed criteria for the trial. A standardized script was followed in a structured interview. Levels of interest were determined and any reasons for concerns were collected with an open-ended format. Results: A total of 45 subjects were interviewed, of which 73% expressed an interest in the trial, and 64% said they were likely to enroll. Concerns of those who were not interested included risk of hydroxychloroquine, desire not to receive placebo, and lack of time for participation. Conclusion: The mock recruitment suggests that the trial will be attractive to suitable patients. The concerns raised support other data indicating that provision of information is crucial to achieving enrollment goals. Mock recruitment of potential investigators should be considered also to address referral concerns.
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