A web-based screening and accrual strategy for a cancer prevention clinical trial in healthy smokers
Screening and recruitment of qualified subjects for clinical trials is an essential component of translational research, and it can be quite challenging if the most efficient recruitment method is not utilized. In this report, we describe a successful web-based screening and accrual method used in a randomized prospective chemoprevention clinical trial with urinary biomarker endpoints. The targeted study population was a group of at-risk healthy current smokers with no evidence of lung disease. Craigslist was used as the sole recruitment modality for this study. All interested subjects were directed to a pre-screening website, in which subject questionnaire responses were linked to the study coordinator's secure e-mail account. Of the 429 initial inquiries, 189 individuals were initially eligible based on the questionnaire response. One hundred twenty-two people were telephone-screened, of whom 98 subjects were consented, 84 were randomized and 77 subjects completed the study successfully. Utilizing this single web-based advertising strategy, accrual for the trial was completed 7 months prior to the projected date. Craigslist is a cost effective and efficient web-based resource that can be utilized in accruing subjects to some chemoprevention trials.