General practitioners' views on patient care research.
BACKGROUND: Little research has been undertaken into the factors affecting recruitment by Australian general practitioners of patients for clinical trials. Understanding the differences between recruiters and non-recruiters will assist researchers in better supporting general practitioners involved in such research. METHOD: A survey of general practitioners involved in recruiting patients for clinical trials for the RACGP Research Program was undertaken. RESULTS: Recruiters were more likely to be interested in learning more about research, to perceive involvement as worthwhile, to desire a good relationship with Research Program staff and to feel the doctor-patient relationship assists recruitment. DISCUSSION: Recruiters in general are average general practitioners, male, middle-aged and work in group practices. Most felt some discomfort in recruiting patients, but believed the strong doctor-patient relationship assisted in the process. CONCLUSION: The Research Program needs to recruit general practitioners interested in research, choose topics of interest, keep recruitment protocols simple and stay in contact.