Participant recruitment is an acknowledged challenge for clinical trials in any area of health research. If projects cannot recruit the required numbers of participants, they may be forced to close and potentially useful interventions may therefore be prevented from being made available, and public money may be wasted. It is therefore important to maximise chances of recruitment by understanding factors that motivate people from taking part in studies, or prevent them from doing so. Various researchers have studied the potential facilitators of and barriers to research participation by people which conditions such as stroke and heart disease.
Because some speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) result in avoidance of activities that involve engagement with other people, it is possible that research in these areas will face even greater challenges than projects directed at other kinds of health condition. Even if the challenges are no greater, they are likely to be different from those affecting non-SLCN activities. Different SLCNs (developmental or acquired) could give rise to separate projects. In these projects, the overarching aims are to (i) determine the facilitators of and barriers to research participation by people with the SLCN in question, and (ii) develop guidance about mechanisms for addressing barriers. The projects would use mixed methodologies such as questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and secondary data analysis. They would be suitable for applicants with backgrounds in a variety of disciplines including speech and language therapy and psychology.