Recruitment remains one of the biggest challenges associated with clinical trials. For drug, vaccine, and palliative care trials, time is absolutely critical. After all, patients look forward to better treatment options, and delayed drug development programs can be highly costly. Fortunately, researchers have identified a variety of methods that help real companies improve their trial recruitment rates and quality. Find out more about how to improve clinical trial recruitment from the experts.
How to Improve Clinical Trial Recruitment
The Importance of Optimal Clinical Trial Recruitment
As noted by the Canadian Journal of Surgery, insufficient or untimely clinical trial patient recruitment has serious consequences. First, insufficient recruitment may lead to a longer trial, which can be costly. Delayed trials can also slow the release of potentially beneficial treatments. Insufficient trial recruitment can also hinder the efficacy or eligibility of the trial itself. As explained by the Canadian Journal of Surgery, if a study does not achieve an adequate sample size, “there is an increased chance of committing a type II error.” These kinds of errors can range from minor to severe (not noticing a significant difference in treatments, for example), and they often lead to unpublishable results.
Evaluating the Recruitment Strategy
The Canadian Journal of Surgery cites several effective instances of trial recruitment. One such example is researcher Chin Feman’s investigation into the cost-effectiveness of recruitment methods used in a specific trial. The study authors recruited 289 patients for their study with an original recruitment budget of $5,000, then invested in several different recruitment methods: media, physician referrals, press releases, fliers, cold calls, and random mailings. According to the study results, physician referral and flyer recruitment methods were the most effective. Keep in mind that these results were published in 2008, so today’s recruitment methods may differ – especially when working with a younger audience. For example, social media recruitment may prove effective with teen and young adult populations.
Understanding the Target Demographic
Understanding the principals of a clinical trial is also key to effective recruitment. If a trial doesn’t include endpoints that are meaningful to patients, it makes recruitment even more challenging. According to a whitepaper penned by one clinical trial recruitment service, patients look for meaningful studies that tie into their own lives. “For example, patients living with chronic conditions were less likely than oncology patients or chronic/acute patients to participate in a trial for a new drug or therapy,” writes the company. To maximize patient participation, companies must highlight both the short-term benefits of taking part in the trial – compensation or symptom abatement, for example – as well as the long-term benefits, like supporting the effort to find new treatments for chronic conditions. These tactics help ensure both participant recruitment and participant retention.
Figuring out how to improve clinical trial recruitment is an ever-evolving process. However, proven research like the studies mentioned above can help pave the way for successful recruitment. That, in turn, can help medical professionals serve patients better than ever before.
Have you ever thought about participating in a clinical trial? You could be a part of history! And QPS Missouri is looking for new participants. Since opening its doors in 1994, QPS Missouri has conducted over 1,000 FDA-regulated studies, paying out over $35 million to local participants. Your local participation could have a global impact, as QPS is an international leader in contract research with facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Our mission is to accelerate the development of drugs worldwide by enabling breakthroughs in pharmaceutical innovation. This includes several pediatric studies across several age ranges. If you would like to join us in this crucial healthcare mission, consider applying for a clinical trial.
To get started, you simply need to fill out an online application. Within 48 business hours, a recruiting coordinator will contact you for your pre-screening assessment. To learn more, please visit the QPS Missouri website, review the study participation process, or check out our list of frequently asked questions.