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why do patients withdraw from clinical trials? (and what can you do about it?)

by Neoteryx, on Aug 1, 2017 6:00:00 AM

shutterstock_174171716.jpgClinical trials are the procedures for measuring the safety and effectiveness of health interventions. They are commonly known as randomized controlled trials (RCT). Successful retention of patients to a full study term is the favorable outcome.

Reasons for Patients' Withdrawal

Side effects - If the medication causes side effects like weight gain then a patient who struggles with obesity will withdraw before the trial period ends.

Lack of condition improvement - If a patient joined a trial program to get treatment from current ailment then most likely they will withdraw before the trial ends if there is no improvement.

Personal or family reasons - They include divorce, marriage, the death of a loved one, relocation, and changes in job status.

Noncompliance - The study’s exhaustion can wear out the subjects resolve. This is as a result of a lengthy study, research medication, blood sampling, and follow-up visits.

Missed visits - These can be as a result of forgetting or no follow-ups. The research team has the responsibility of contacting the patients before and after a missed visit.

Other reasons:

  • Misunderstood expectations
  • Lack of condition improvement
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Lack of appreciation
  • Financial constraints
  • Inconvenient location
  • Schedule conflict
  • Change of residence
  • Fear of the trial procedures (blood testing, medication, etc.)

Microsampling Improves Clinical Trial Subject Retention

Blood testing is a key component in clinical trials. Traditional venipuncture sampling demands patients travel to a specific location within a controlled environment, thus inconveniencing a lot of subjects. Many patients find venous blood extraction to be unsettling; this can worsen the fear and eventually leads to dropouts. However, dried blood microsampling requires a single droplet (10µl) of blood drawn from a simple finger prick. Microsampling is a self-administering sampling procedure that doesn’t need a controlled environment. Patients can take the sampling from any location and mail it to the research centers.

Other Solutions

  • Compensation and recognition
  • Commitment to the study
  • Positive response to treatment
  • Relationship with study staff
  • Set expectations upfront during discussion
  • Send reminders for upcoming visits
  • Providing a patient friendly environment

Clinical trial subject withdrawal determines the success of a study. Lack of proper communication will frustrate your patients. The use of microsampling among other solutions will improve retention levels.

Topics:Clinical Trials