The idea for the website emerged as part of the on-going PAFS initiative [1, 2]. The call for improved conduct and reporting of pilot and feasibility studies has been addressed through several research papers, either highlighting the issue or providing advice and guidance [1,2,3,4,5,6]. However, we were not aware of anywhere where all the research on pilot and feasibility studies had been brought together and collated to provide an easily accessible resource for those conducting such studies. We first discussed the idea in March 2017 at one of the PAFS collaboration’s regular teleconferences and agreed the website would be funded through Sandra Eldridge’s NIHR Senior Investigator Award.
How was the website created?
The first outline of the structure of the website was created in April 2017, and members of the PAFS collaboration were allocated different sections to populate. Draft versions of the website were shared and updated via a series of emails and teleconferences. A web designer was employed in April 2018 to create the website based on the final draft of the contents.
In May 2018, an email invitation was sent out to stakeholders previously involved in the consensus meeting during the development of the CONSORT extension for pilot trials. Individuals were invited to review the website before it went live. Those who agreed were sent a link and password to the website at the end of June 2018 and a review sheet to complete. Feedback was received and the website updated. The site went live in September 2018.
What can I find on the website?
The website can be viewed at https://pilotandfeasibilitystudies.qmul.ac.uk/. The website comprises six pages: homepage, introduction page, resources page, noticeboard, who we are, and a contact page. The introduction page describes what pilot and feasibility studies are, including the distinction between internal and external pilot studies, provides examples of pilot and feasibility studies, reasons to perform such a study, and information on incorrect use of the terms pilot and feasibility. The resources page is divided into sections on design, analysis, and reporting, with further subsections within each of these. Resources are provided in the form of hyperlinks to published papers, with brief descriptive paragraphs as appropriate. The noticeboard page features news items, announcements, events, and courses concerned wholly or partly with pilot or feasibility studies, which might be of interest for people to attend, as well as details of past events and courses.
Who is the website for?
The website is aimed at anyone conducting a pilot or feasibility study (for example, triallists and health services researchers, clinicians, health professionals, grant funding bodies, peer reviewers, journal editors) as well as those carrying out methodological research (for example, researchers, statisticians, students). For those interested in conducting a pilot or feasibility study, there are helpful resources on how to choose the objectives for a study, advice on choosing the study design and sample size to match the chosen objectives, and resources to guide appropriate analysis and reporting of the results. For those wanting to carry out methodological research, there is information on the latest publications and guidelines related to pilot and feasibility studies, as well as information about other relevant events such as workshops and training courses.