To describe difficulties experienced with recruitment of frail, malnourished inpatients aged 65+ years to a 12-week multidisciplinary home-based nutrition and physical activity intervention (SUSTAIN) and to identify factors associated with non-participation.Methods:
A multidisciplinary team approach to recruitment involved monthly team meetings, weekly clinician case conferences and strategic planning to accommodate patient needs (provision of transport, easy access to facilities, appropriate written/verbal information). Intensive recruitment occurred in eligible inpatients from a major acute tertiary and rehabilitation hospitals in a local health district over seven months.Results:
Of the 124 patients screened, 88 were not eligible, 32 declined, and 4 consented. Neither socio-demographic nor clinical characteristics (age, gender, clinical diagnosis, birthplace, cognitive function, length of stay or nutritional status) explained non-participation or ineligibility or refusals rates.Conclusions:
The advanced age and poor overall health status of this population necessitates alternative recruitment strategies to improve participation in clinical trials and improve generalisability for clinical practice.