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    Dyas, Jane V Apekey, Tanefa Tilling, Michelle and Siriwardena, A Niroshan 2009. Strategies for improving patient recruitment to focus groups in primary care: a case study reflective paper using an analytical framework. BMC Medical Research Methodology, Vol. 9, Issue. 1,

    Sheard, Laura Wright, Nat MJ Adams, Clive E Bound, Nicole Rushforth, Bruno Hart, Roger and Tompkins, Charlotte NE 2009. The Leeds Evaluation of Efficacy of Detoxification Study (LEEDS) Prisons Project Study: protocol for a randomised controlled trial comparing methadone and buprenorphine for opiate detoxification. Trials, Vol. 10, Issue. 1,

    Sheard, Laura Adams, Clive E Wright, Nat MJ El-Sayeh, Hany Dalton, Richard and Tompkins, Charlotte NE 2007. The Leeds Evaluation of Efficacy of Detoxification Study (LEEDS) prisons project pilot study: protocol for a randomised controlled trial comparing dihydrocodeine and buprenorphine for opiate detoxification. Trials, Vol. 8, Issue. 1,

    Wright, Nat MJ Sheard, Laura Tompkins, Charlotte NE Adams, Clive E Allgar, Victoria L and Oldham, Nicola S 2007. Buprenorphine versus dihydrocodeine for opiate detoxification in primary care: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Family Practice, Vol. 8, Issue. 1,

  • Primary Health Care Research & Development, Volume 7, Issue 2
  • April 2006, pp. 106-115

Recruiting opiate users to a randomized controlled trial in primary care: a descriptive study of GP attitudes

  • Laura Sheard (a1), Charlotte NE Tompkins (a1), Nat MJ Wright (a2) and Clive E Adams (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 31 October 2006

Historically, few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been conducted in primary care and problems have been experienced applying this methodology in these settings. In 2001, The Leeds Evaluation of Efficacy of Detoxification Study (LEEDS) was developed. This RCT aimed to compare two detoxification drugs to inform best practice for the treatment of opiate users presenting to primary care requesting detoxification. This paper presents descriptive data from a postal survey of 12 general practitioners (GPs) from 10 primary care practices who were involved in the LEEDS trial. The questionnaire was sent out in November 2004, used open and closed questions and was self-administered. It uncovered factors that affected patient recruitment, GPs' views on the trial and their experience of randomizing opiate using patients. Flexible solutions to overcoming recruitment difficulties are presented alongside idealistic solutions to the problems experienced. The implications of our experiences of conducting this RCT in primary care practices are discussed in the light of conducting RCTs in primary care settings. This will benefit other research teams and clinicians who may be planning to use a similar research methodology.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Laura Sheard, Centre for Research in Primary Care, 71–75 Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9PL, UK. Email:
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Primary Health Care Research & Development
  • ISSN: 1463-4236
  • EISSN: 1477-1128
  • URL: /core/journals/primary-health-care-research-and-development
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