BACKGROUND:

Competing priorities in pediatric practice have created challenges for practice-based research. To increase recruitment success, researchers must design studies that provide added value to participants. This study evaluates recruitment of pediatricians into a study, before and after the development and addition of a quality improvement (QI) curriculum approved for American Board of Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 4 Credit as an enrollment incentive.

METHODS:

Researchers implemented multiple outreach methods to enroll pediatric practices over 28 months. Field note review revealed that many physicians declined enrollment, stating that they prioritized MOC Part 4 projects over research studies. A QI curriculum meeting standards for MOC Part 4 Credit was developed and added to the study protocol as an enrollment incentive. Enrollment rates and characteristics of practitioners enrolled pre- and post-MOC were compared.

RESULTS:

Pre-MOC enrollment contributed 48% of practices in 22 months; post-MOC enrollment contributed 49% of practices in 6 months. An average of 3.5 practices enrolled per month pre-MOC, compared with 13.1 per month post-MOC (P < .001). Clinicians in pre- and post-MOC groups were similar in age, gender, race, and time spent on patient care; practices enrolled post-MOC were more likely to be located in federally designated Medically Underserved Areas than those enrolled pre-MOC (28.6% vs 12%, P = .03).

CONCLUSIONS:

Addition of MOC Part 4 Credit increased recruitment success and increased enrollment of pediatricians working in underserved areas. Including QI initiatives meeting MOC Part 4 criteria in practice-based research protocols may enhance participation and aid in recruiting diverse practice and patient populations.

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