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Table 1 Quotes from qualitative interviews illustrating themes

From: Recruitment for a clinical trial of chronic disease self-management for older adults with multimorbidity: a successful approach within general practice

Theme Example of comment
1 Altruism “I said, ‘wow, better than nothing’. People care, and if it gives us some positives at the end at some stage, and gives maybe someone in the government a bit of a rocket about the realities of life, then I reckon it’s all worthwhile.” ID 59, male, 60yrs
“I thought, well, if I can help someone else, great. I’d not wish it (participant’s health problems) on anyone.” ID 25, male, 73yrs
“like (my wife) said, hey, if it helps society…the same as giving blood, that sort of thing, it helps.” ID 31, male, 69yrs
2. This study will help me Interviewer: ‘What made you say, yes, that’s ok, rather than no, I’m too busy?”
2.1 Expectation of health gain Participant: ‘Well, I thought I might get some benefit out of it, you go in for something, you don’t really know what you will get out of it?” ID 17, male, 77yrs
2.2 Hope for future benefit for self “I was under the impression that the purpose was to find out what can be done to help people in this situation. I thought now, ok, we don’t desperately need this help at the moment, but in the future we might…” ID 26, male, 79yrs
2.3 Psychosocial support Participant: “I got a letter from my GP and I decided to participate”
Interviewer: “What was your motivation for participating?” Participant: “I thought I need to do something!” Interviewer: “For yourself, or others?”
Participant: “For me!” ID 539, female, 64yrs
Participant: “I thought it would be a good idea. I had a letter from my GP about it, and I thought it would be a good idea to follow it…Because at that particular time I had been having a lot of health problems. My son had had a lot of health problems, and life was pretty tough. I felt that I could use some help.
Interviewer: Did you think it might be of some additional benefit to you? Participant: “Yes, I did, because I felt pretty isolated and vulnerable at the time…and trying to get any assistance was pretty tough going.”
ID 782, female, 76yrs
2.4 To gain knowledge “I thought about it, and I thought ‘I’m going to have a talk with my GP and see exactly who’s dobbed me in.’ I had no objections, so I thought I might gain some insight into (my health problem). So I thought I’d go ahead.” ID 558, female, 69yrs
3. Doctor recommended study Interviewer: do you remember why you decided to take part in the study?Participant: “Probably because of the very fact that my GP asked me to participate. He has asked me in the past to participate in other studies as well, which I’ve always agreed to. …I owe him a great debt, so I figure anything he asks me to do, I’m more than happy to participate.” ID 59, male, 60yrs
“the first thing was the letter from the local doctor (which) said that he had been approached for recommendations of patients who could possibly assist in the research. He suggested that I might consider it, I can recall. I had no reason not to, so I rang the (university researchers) to tell them that I would take part.” ID 26, male, 79yrs