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Pubmed-Challenges of recruitment processes to a randomized dietary trial in irritable bowel syndrome

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F1000Res. 2024 Jun 24;13:323. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.147710.2. eCollection 2024.


BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is common with a global prevalence of 4%. Dietary regimes with a low content of fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyol (FODMAP) or a starch- and sucrose-reduced diet (SSRD) have proven to be efficient. The aim of the present study was to describe the recruitment process for a randomized dietary trial with low FODMAP or SSRD for 4 weeks with a follow-up period of 5 months. The results of the dietary trial itself are not included in this paper but will be presented in another publication.

METHODS: The County of Skåne, with 1,41 million inhabitants, was used as a base to perform a dietary trial in which IBS patients, age 18-70 years, were randomized to either low FODMAP or SSRD for 4 weeks. The estimated number of IBS patients in the actual age span was approximately 32,000. The trial was announced through lectures, letters to all primary healthcare centers (n=203), social media (two campaigns), and invitations to IBS patients identified in medical records (n=744).

RESULTS: Three referrals arrived from the healthcare system, 17 patients contacted the investigators in person after receiving information from their healthcare center, and four patients contacted the investigators after recommendations from friends. Of these, 14 were enrolled in the study. From social media, 218 names were delivered, of which 93 fulfilled the study criteria and were willing to participate when contacted by the investigators (42.7%). Of the 3587 identified IBS patients in medical records in close proximity to the hospital, 744 were randomly contacted. Forty-eight patients (6.5 %) were willing to be included in the study. Thus, 155 patients with IBS were included in this study.

CONCLUSIONS: The inclusion rate for dietary intervention was very low considering the large population informed about the study. Announcements on social media seem to be the best way to recruit patients for intervention.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT05192603, 29/11/2021, ClinicalTrials.gov. The PRS URL is https://register.clinicaltrials.gov.

PMID:38939366 | PMC:PMC11208853 | DOI:10.12688/f1000research.147710.2

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