Revised and Updated by Seth Preston on: April 14th, 2020
Both Sponsors and CRO’s are aware of the significant negative impact that low patient enrollment can have on studies and clinical trials. The process of recruiting patients for a clinical trial can be long and tedious. Briefly looking at statistics, according to Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, “it’s been estimated that about 30% of PI’s under-enroll in a given trial, and about 20% fail to enroll a single patient.” So, how can we prevent this from happening in our study?
Some essential keys for a successful start:
To have a plan before starting patient recruitment.
To take the time to research the kind of patients you need.
To start with the resources that are already available for you, like your own database.
The most important thing is to know your target audience. Let’s begin with the definition of this concept: Target Audience is a particular group at which a film, book, advertising campaign, etc., is aimed.
Knowing your audience can help you to find the best way for reaching your possible and potential participants. Besides the typical demographic data such as age, sex, or ethnicity, you should start thinking about creating a full profile of your possible patients.
Think about things that can make their profile richer such as:
Are they active on social networks?
Are they active on blogs?
Are they in need of relief from a medical ailment?
Are they waiting for further medical science?
Having a complete profile will help you to create and build the right message and to choose the communication strategy that works the best for your study.
Now you have the number of patients you need, but what about keeping them active on the study? The answer is ENGAGING them with constant interaction and communication. Popular tools for engagement are newsletters, blogs, sharing updates, sending holiday cards, and simple follow up calls. All of these efforts can create more confident and engaged patients.
Bottom line, invest in your Patients. Make an effort to communicate, and reap the benefits. In the end, the success of a trial depends of the success of the enrollment and the commitment of completing the study.