From Awareness to Action: Enhancing Clinical Trial Participation Through Patient-Centered Design


Transparent and detailed communication throughout the research process is key for effectively recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials.

Image credit: wladimir1804 |

Image credit: wladimir1804 |

Integrating patient and caregiver insights into clinical research planning and protocol design is essential for crafting studies that are truly patient-centered and relevant to their needs. By incorporating these perspectives, studies can align with outcomes that matter most to participants, including medical outcomes, quality of life, symptom relief, and functional improvements.

Moreover, such an approach minimizes the burden on participants, fostering better recruitment and retention rates, and ultimately, leading to more robust and applicable study findings. This, in turn, supports the overarching goal of enhancing healthcare quality and patient outcomes. Addressing challenges in clinical research, such as delays and insufficient enrollment, becomes more feasible with this inclusive approach.

A recent survey conducted by Advanced Clinical and StuffThatWorks sheds light on the positive inclination of respondents towards participating in clinical trials. The primary reason cited for non-participation was lack of awareness, which underscores the need for improved communication strategies to both patients and healthcare providers. The survey, completed by 679 respondents, of whom 98% were patients and 2% were caregivers, provided insights across a diverse range of diseases and geographical locations, emphasizing the broad applicability of patient-centered approaches.

Highlighted in the survey were critical areas for improvement in the research experience, including the need for centralized study information accessible through digital platforms, as well as provisions for compensation and travel support. Lack of awareness emerged as a significant barrier to participation, emphasizing the importance of proactive outreach efforts to potential participants.

Motivations for engaging in clinical research were multifaceted, with respondents expressing altruistic motives, such as advancing research and helping others, alongside desires for access to innovative treatments and specialized care. These insights highlight the complex interplay of factors influencing participation decisions.

Moreover, the survey illuminated the preferred sources of information on clinical research, with patient support organizations, advocacy groups and healthcare professionals emerging as primary channels. However, there was a notable gap in respondents' awareness of clinical research opportunities, indicating the need for more accessible and comprehensive information dissemination channels.

Key considerations highlighted by respondents when evaluating participation in clinical trials included understanding study logistics, treatment phase and options for virtual visits. Transparent and detailed communication throughout the research process is key for effectively recruiting and retaining patients for your clinical trial.

By empowering patients as partners in research, we acknowledge their expertise in living with the condition and ensure that their voices are heard in shaping research priorities. Such collaborative efforts foster transparency and trust, which leads to more successful research outcomes with real-world impact.

Moving forward, pharmaceutical sponsors, clinical research organizations, and healthcare professionals must actively engage with patients and caregivers to improve awareness and accessibility of clinical research opportunities, thereby advancing patient-centered care and treatment decisions. It is only when patients, biopharmaceutical companies, and clinical research organizations work collaboratively will we truly be successful in developing meaningful treatments for patients.

About the Author

Rebecca Starkie, Senior Global Patient Engagement Director, Advanced Clinical.

About Advanced Clinical

Advanced Clinical is a clinical development and strategic resourcing organization committed to providing a better clinical experience across the drug development journey. Our goal is to improve the lives of all those touched by clinical research – approaching each opportunity with foresight, character, resilience, and innovation. Based on decades of experience, we help our clients achieve better outcomes by conducting candid conversations and anticipating potential issues through our customized solutions. Visit our website to learn more:

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