Research and clinical studies are essential elements that further the evolution and development of the healthcare field. In order to develop new medication, treatment, and products, there is a need for testing and clinical trials for them to be effective.
With that said, hosting and conducting clinical trials might be easy for doctors and big pharmaceutical companies. However, the more complicated and challenging part is finding ways to facilitate recruitment for these trials. In fact, many big pharmaceutical companies had to stop developing new products due to a decrease in the number of people willingly participating in clinical trials.
It comes down to the fact that people sometimes feel scared of taking part in something they don’t know about- the fear of the unknown! If there are tons of effective medical products in the market already, why would somebody want to try one they have never heard about before? Not to mention, the placebo effect! These might be deterrents for people. But, the main problem is how they perceive things. It is the way the companies and doctors facilitate clinical trial recruitment. Keeping that in mind, here are six tips that will motivate patients to sign up for clinical studies or trials.
Make information about your trials more appealing
During clinical trial recruitment, nothing lowers the participants’ concentration more than stacks of pages to sign and a long verbal conversation. Therefore, you must share information enjoyably and appealingly with every patient who shows a willingness to participate in the trials.
Along with the way you present information, lack of correct information can prevent people from signing up for your clinical trials. Sharing knowledge about it through a creative presentation will entice the volunteer to sign up without having second thoughts. Furthermore, you can also hire experts that can present such information as accurately as possible. For example, suppose you want to host clinical trials to test products that might cure infectious diseases. In that case, you can hire healthcare professionals that hold mph epidemiology online degrees to ensure clear and effective communication. These individuals are the best and most accurate source of information when it comes to infectious diseases.
Create a patient-centric recruitment process
Doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and stakeholders should move their efforts towards creating more patient-centered requirement strategies. There is an overlying need to develop strategies that put the patients first, rather than the product or disease they are conducting the trials for. An efficient clinical recruitment strategy is all about partnering up with patients, playing an active role in:
- Setting clinical research agendas
- Collecting feedback from participants about the trial process
- Giving feedback about trial results
- Engaging patients as volunteers in the trials
Such personalized efforts instill a sense of trust in the patients, and more participants come forward to sign-up for clinical trials.
Provide financial incentives
Despite trial-based financial incentives being a controversial discussion, 24 to 80 percent of academic centers and clinical research organizations will give away cash bonuses to patients for their time. According to the MRC, offering reimbursement to participants shows that you appreciate your patient’s time.
Walter Reed was the first physicians in history to take such an approach in 1901. He believed that mosquitos were the primary carriers of yellow fever rather than physical human contact. Each volunteer in his clinical trial received 100 dollars worth of gold. You can take a page out of Walter Reed’s book and compensate volunteers with cash.
Leverage social media platforms
In today’s modern world, where everything is available at your fingertips, it would be foolish not to leverage social media to facilitate clinical trial recruitment. Today, communication between two parties is straightforward, thanks to social media and smartphones. When talking about recruitment, developing a robust social media presence is key to sharing information with millions of people simultaneously.
For participants, the advantage of volunteering from the comfort of their home encourages a more comfortable and honest response. Putting out an ad on social media that asks for people to volunteer is an easy way to let them know about your clinical trial’s existence.
Target minority groups
Years of research suggest that recruiting minority groups is far more complicated than just translating written material. It is vital to target these groups in a way that allows them to know that information is according to their requirements. For example, Hispanic people will have different questions and modes of communication than the general public. Therefore it is vital to encourage all ethnic minorities to participate in your clinical trials. In USA-based clinical trials, only 10 percent of volunteers are non-white.
With most participants being one particular group, the trial results will only show that specific group’s habits and traits. By including all minority groups, the trial results will allow you to help larger communities and ethnic groups.
Screen multiple trials at once
Suppose you are conducting multiple clinical trials at the same time. In that case, it is a no-brainer to run multiple screening sessions as well. Such an approach will save time and tons of money. You can always hire a patient recruitment company to conduct online screening sessions based on patients’ location.
Screening multiple trials at the same time will let more interested volunteers connect with the right trial opportunities while speeding up the entire recruitment process at the same time.
Clinical trial participation is an ongoing challenge. People usually stay away from them as they don’t know what to expect. With technological advancements, information is easily accessible for everyone, as is an organization’s and research center’s ability to access volunteers. They need to realize that participants of a clinical trial are not guinea pigs. They should facilitate their volunteers when they become test subjects for a new drug or product.