Engaging patients throughout the health system: A landscape analysis of cold-call policies and recommendations for future policy change.


Journal Article (Review)

Healthcare institutions may often prohibit "cold-calling" or direct contact with a potential research participant when the person initiating contact is unknown to the patient. This policy aims to maintain patient privacy, but may have unintended consequences as a result of physician gatekeeping. In this review, we discuss recruitment policies at the top academic institutions. We propose an ethical framework for evaluating cold-call policies based on three principles of research ethics. In order to maximize engagement of potential research participants, while maintaining patient privacy and autonomy, we then propose several alternative solutions to restrictive cold-call policies, including opt-in or opt-out platforms, a team-based approach, electronic solutions, and best practices for recruitment. As healthcare has evolved with more collaborative, patient-centered, data-driven care, the engagement of potential research participants should similarly evolve.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McHugh, KR; Swamy, GK; Hernandez, AF

Published Date

  • December 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 384 - 392

PubMed ID

  • 31402985

Pubmed Central ID

  • 31402985

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2059-8661

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/cts.2019.1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England