Prescreening clinical trial volunteers using an online personality questionnaire

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The cost of a clinical trial is affected by the efficiency of participant recruitment. It would be desirable to create a prescreening method that identifies appropriate candidates for full screening, in order to prevent inconvenience to both the trial and volunteers. This study presents an online prescreening tool for this purpose.
Method: In order to facilitate recruitment of 24 individuals meeting the criteria for generalized anxiety disorder to a pharmacological fMRI trial, we created an online personality questionnaire that generated a personality profile for each respondent, and screened for the trial’s basic criteria.
Results: Our online platform screened 6,293 people for anxious personality traits in one year. A total of 862 eligible individuals were identified through this route, each of whom automatically received an email invitation to contact the study team for further telephone screening, if interested. Of those, 266 individuals contacted the team and 173 were telephone screened, with 53 attending the study site for medical checks. Twenty-eight individuals were fully eligible, and 24 completed the trial. This permitted completion on time and on budget.
Conclusion: Our online prescreening personality questionnaire platform did not remove the need for telephone screening or onsite medical checks, but increased the efficiency of recruitment through non-invasive identification of those meeting key requirements. Thus, our platform is a useful recruitment technique for clinical trials and is time-saving for both the trial and potential participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2297-2303
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018


  • recruitment
  • prescreening
  • personality
  • mental health
  • clinical trials


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