Patient Participation is a Team Sport

Applied Clinical TrialsApplied Clinical Trials-05-01-2022
Volume 31
Issue 5

ACT presents solutions to foster greater participation in May issue.

Patient recruitment remains the largest impediment to clinical trials progress. Barriers to participation are numerous and as noted in this article, can be broken down into these buckets on the recruitment progression cycle—awareness, identification, information and consent, patient-centric operations, and accelerated regulatory approval. Each of these buckets or progressions contain a plethora of ideas, strategies, technologies, and choices. And at any one of these progressions, a potential participant can be lost.

The reality of patient recruitment is that its success depends on those myriad factors under the buckets, in addition to an individual’s behavior or personal beliefs. According to survey results in this white paper from IQVIA, “When asked what prevents them from participating in a trial, fears about their health and safety (62%) far outweighed concerns about time (37%), logistics (18%), and negative press about research (8%).” Further influences can be analyzed by gender, race, and ethnicity, all coalescing around choosing to participate.

In this issue, we present a fraction of the exhaustive list of options that currently exist to foster recruitment. Virtual waiting rooms, for example, where potential participants can learn, discuss, and express interest in a clinical trial for a near-future opportunity to participate and remain engaged. Sharing clinical trial results with pediatric patients is a way to engage younger generations, as well as their parents or caregivers by providing transparency into the process. Tufts CSDD offers advice to sponsors and CROs on how to re-prioritize routine assessment of patient satisfaction as a primary outcome measure. And our main feature offers an overview of recent technologies such as patient opt-in solutions; EMR funnels to find appropriate patients for outreach by physicians; and solutions that find and monitor participants in the community via pharmacies such as CVS or Walgreens.

In this issue, we purposely did not highlight decentralized trials, which offers components that improve patient participation and experience under the patient-centric operations bucket.

Starting or piloting any new initiative to increase patient recruitment is a plus. Whatever you can do to increase the exposure and access for the potential of a clinical trial participation will help. Remember, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Lisa Henderson is Editor-in-Chief of Applied Clinical Trials. She can be reached at

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