Patient recruitment and patient retention are two challenges faced daily by clinical research professionals. Each requires unique strategies to overcome these challenges. In patient recruitment the challenge lies in not only delivering the right message to the right people, but also doing so in a way that evokes action. In patient retention, the challenge lies in keeping the participant’s initial action (participating in a clinical trial) strong throughout the clinical trial process.

As patient recruitment specialists, it is our goal to help our clients reach their patient recruitment goals in a timely and effective manner. However, we want to see our clients succeed in every aspect of the clinical trial process. So when we learned about a recent study that related to patient retention, we wanted to share it with you.

The results of a recent study underwritten by 11 companies were released at the 2013 ISPE Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The results of the study were based on responses from 1,425 patients (the majority in the U.S.).

The results indicate that overall, patients participating in clinical trials want to comply with clinical trial protocols and want to see the trial success. However, the key factor in this is awareness. That is, the patients want and need to understand the protocol and rationale behind them.

The study also revealed that the more informed that patient was, the more they felt like they were part of something important and would therefore be more likely to, “be compliant and complete” a clinical trial.

Customization was also a key finding in the study. Results indicate that being more accommodating to patient differences assisted the participants in believing that their participating in the clinical trial was not a generic experience (which is undesirable, from the participants’ perspective).

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