why do patients withdraw from clinical trials? (and what can you do about it?)
by Neoteryx, on Aug 1, 2017 6:00:00 AM
Clinical 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.
- 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.
- 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.