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BACKGROUND: Marketing communication and brand identity is a fundamental principle of advertising and end-user engagement. Health researchers have begun to apply this principle to trial recruitment in primary care. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a Teaser Campaign using a series of postcards in advance of a conventional mail-out increases the number of primary care clinics that engage with a clinical trial. METHODS: Embedded randomised recruitment trial across primary care clinics (general practitioners and physiotherapists) in the Sydney metropolitan area. Clinics in the Teaser Campaign group received a series of branded promotional postcards in advance of a standard letter inviting them to participate in a clinical trial. Clinics in the Standard Mail group did not receive the postcards. RESULTS: From a total of 744 clinics that were sent an invitation letter, 46 clinics in the Teaser Campaign group and 40 clinics in the Standard Mail group responded (11.6% total response rate). There was no between-group difference in the odds of responding to the invitation letter (odds ratio = 1.18, 95% confidence interval = 0.75-1.85, p = 0.49). For physiotherapy clinics and general practice clinics, the odds ratios were 1.43 (confidence interval = 0.82-2.48, p = 0.21) and 0.77 (confidence interval = 0.34-1.75, p  = 0.54), respectively. CONCLUSION: A Teaser Campaign using a series of branded promotional postcards did not improve clinic engagement for a randomised controlled trial in primary care.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin trials

Publication Date





162 - 169


Primary health care, back pain, randomised controlled trial, recruitment, research methods, Advertising as Topic, Australia, Chronic Pain, Clinical Trials as Topic, General Practice, Humans, Low Back Pain, Odds Ratio, Patient Selection, Physical Therapy Specialty, Postal Service, Primary Health Care