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4 clinical trial recruitment strategies

by Neoteryx | 2 min read

Medical office setting with personalSome of the biggest challenges in running a clinical trial involve finding and engaging the right participants. Patient recruitment for clinical trials can be complicated. It sometimes leads to research delays or abandonment because of insufficient participation.

Only six percent of clinical trials are completed on time. Eighty percent of trials are delayed for weeks because patients didn't enroll. It’s a great challenge to researchers and a disappointment to funding organizations.

People declining to participate in clinical trials can be a recurrent obstacle if participants are unclear on the process and don't understand what they're expected to do. Inconsistent enrollment and participation is unacceptable when trials are crucial to ongoing medical research.

Bringing tested drugs to the market requires thorough analysis and patient testing, but finding willing participants is a critical problem. Four recruitment strategies that might help are:

Develop a patient-centric enrollment process

Before enrolling in a clinical trial, develop a patient-centric process. According to the Medical Research Council UK (MRC) recommendation, targeted organizations should liaise with owners and participants to promote the trial process.

Frame information to encourage enrollment

Opportunities and necessary information should be identified. Participants’ misunderstanding the process is a significant obstacle in clinical trial enrollments. Studies conducted by the University of Virginia have shown that using verbal “conversation education” raises recruitment levels as opposed to printed information. “Framing” is informing participants of the possible effects of a drug and can increase enrollment.

Offer financial incentives

Monetary compensation is sometimes controversial in clinical trials, but this act of reimbursement is often an effective recruitment and retention method.

People are being paid to participate. For example, in 1901, Walter Reed paid volunteers $100 in gold to test a theory. He suggested a particular mosquito species transmitted yellow fever. First of its kind, the research yielded clinical trial that had promising results.

Offer culturally tailored information to reach minority populations

More information concerning the clinical trials from specific groups is needed. For instance, Hispanics/Latinos have high rates of cancer, which has a disproportionate impact on Hispanic patients. This means a Hispanic patient has unique needs and concerns compared to other ethnic groups in a clinical trial.

Implement Capillary Blood Microsampling

Blood microsampling technologies are gaining traction in the world of pharma, clinical trials, and drug development for numerous reasons. Substantial savings can result from a streamlined workflow. Patient-centered remote sampling can improve recruitment, retention, and even adherence and compliance. And microsampling provides an essential missing link between the high-flying promises of a future of geography-agnostic virtual clinical trials and the on-the-ground experience of obtaining and using the right specimens, at the right time, in the most convenient, efficient, and pleasant possible manner. Microsampling in clinical trials is a sterling example of how smarter healthcare technologies can provide benefits far out of proportion to the investment required.

Clinical trial participation strategy is a substantial challenge for researchers. Reaching out to targeted participants with accurate information and then retaining them is not easy. Potential participants need to be encouraged to experience clinical trials. Furthermore, they need to be convinced that clinical trials are safe, effective, and conducted using acceptable terms and rules. It can be done, but there are ways to do it, both time-tested and innovative.

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Originally published Jun 19, 2019 8:58:00 AM, updated on September 4, 2019

Topics:Clinical Trials