Across the clinical trial and medical research realm, one common issue many companies have been working on in recent years is making studies more patient-friendly. This is one of the biggest challenges out there when it comes to patient recruitment – many people want to take part in clinical studies, but too many recruitment efforts tend to focus on the trial itself rather than digging into whether or not the trial is right for a given patient.
At AGA Clinical Trials, we conduct thorough patient research and recruitment procedures for all our clinical studies, including patient-centric methods that help match patients to their ideal studies and vice versa. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over a number of elements patients desire from a given research study, plus some of the steps we take to make our trials patient-friendly every step of the way.
The first and most important tenet of our recruitment program, and that of any high-quality clinical research facility, is conducting detailed and specific research on all potential patients. Not only will this research allow us to locate the ideal patients for many studies, it also allows us to develop outreach materials, pre-screen patients and perform other important tasks ahead of time.
Here are several of the themes we look to reach, or questions we look to answer, when performing this research:
- Inclusion/exclusion criteria: How many people meet our basic criteria for participation, compared to how many will be excluded?
- Demographics: Vital for both research and potential ads for the study.
- Symptoms or conditions: It’s important that patients clearly understand the conditions or symptoms being treated or researched during the study.
- Barriers to participation: We will note if any symptoms or other factors impact the target population’s ability to participate in a trial.
Provide Detailed Information
Not only does our own research need to be detailed and precise, but the same themes need to apply to information we provide to patients. Communication is vital between researchers and patients, particularly during recruitment where both sides are looking to find optimal fits. Some of the information we will generally provide to prospective patients includes:
- Any medical risks associated with trial participation
- How the clinical burden of the trial compares to other treatments or standards of care
- How patient personal data will be managed
- How patient lives will be impacted during the study
- The safety and efficacy profile of the treatment being studied
We are aware that participating in a clinical trial is not always easy – it may take time away from your life, and could even involve periods of discomfort. We are sensitive to these facts and the need patients have for a trustworthy environment, one we strive to build at all stages of our recruitment process. We are always as transparent as possible, explaining any details of our trials in simple ways that allow all prospective patients to easily understand.
We only employ researchers with strong socialization skills who have experience interacting with a wide variety of patients. All our trial staff are happy to answer questions and provide resources to patients who take part.
For more on the steps we take to make clinical trials patient-friendly, or to learn about any of our clinical research studies, speak to the staff at AGA Clinical Trials today.