The Effect of a Personalized Newsletter to Physical Therapists on Patient Recruitment: A Cluster Randomized Trial in Primary Physiotherapy Care

Marloes Thoomes-de Graaf, Rienke E Wiersma, Yasmaine Karel, Edwin Duijn, Bea Spek, Dimitris Rizopoulos, Gwendolijne G M Scholten-Peeters, Arianne P Verhagen

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of a personalized newsletter compared with a standard newsletter on patient recruitment in physiotherapy research.

METHODS: We performed a cluster-randomized trial including 120 physiotherapists who recruited patients for a prospective cohort and were randomly assigned to either receiving personalized feedback in a newsletter (intervention group) or a standard newsletter (control group). We calculated the difference in the number of patients included in the study corrected for inclusion time between both groups.

RESULTS: The physiotherapists in the control group (n = 59) included 110 patients (35.4% of the total number of patients included) compared with an inclusion of 200 patients (64.6% of the total number of patients included) by the physiotherapists in the intervention group (n = 61), a difference of 90 patients in favor of the intervention group. However, when corrected for inclusion time and a cluster effect, we found no statistically significant difference between both groups. In addition, therapists who did not include a single patient (inactive therapists) were evenly divided between the 2 groups (n = 29 [49%] in the control group; n = 30 [49%] in the intervention group).

CONCLUSIONS: A personalized newsletter does not significantly increase the number of recruited patients by physiotherapists. However, therapists receiving personalized feedback recruited nearly double the number of patients compared with the ones receiving standard feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-482
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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