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7 essential clinical trial patient recruitment tips

There are many options for clinical trial patient recruitment — digital advertising, in-person campaigns, and doctor’s office flyers are just a few. However, regardless of which avenue a study uses to find eligible individuals, there are a few basic tips that can help create effective outreach.

In this blog, we’re breaking down 7 key tips on how to create more effective outreach campaigns. Keep reading to learn more about how to create materials that will resonate with your target audience of patients.

Universal patient recruitment tips for clinical trials

Thoroughly research the trial condition.

Before creating any outreach materials, gaining a thorough understanding of the trial condition is a great place to start. A few questions that can guide this process include:

  • What is the prevalence of the condition?
  • What are the condition’s most common and most challenging symptoms?
  • What patient organizations are associated with the condition? What materials do they provide their communities?
  • What are common questions and concerns patients have about the condition? When they search for information online, what questions are they asking?
  • What specific symptoms does the trial drug aim to treat? How common are those symptoms?

Get to know the target audience.

After gaining a better understanding of the condition in question, it’s time to get to know the patient community. Collateral from patient advocacy organizations such as educational resources, blogs, and message boards can paint a picture of what daily life is like for those with a condition. Leveraging these resources can provide helpful context for how participating in the clinical trial could improve a person’s quality of life.

Create outreach materials with patients in mind. 

When creating copy and images for recruitment outreach, the intel collected about the condition and the patient population can inform more effective materials. Using imagery and language that are likely to resonate with the patient population can make for far more effective recruitment efforts, as patients are unlikely to participate in studies they find hard to understand.

Include the type of study in outreach information.

Before joining a trial, patients want to know key information regarding the purpose of a study. It is important to include insight into the trial’s goal, the therapy that is being tested, and any other elements that may be important to know for participants, such as if there is a medication washout period or if some cohorts will be receiving a placebo.

Address logistical considerations that impact patients.

In an Antidote patient survey, we asked what information they found the most critical when deciding whether or not to participate in a clinical trial. Based on their responses, we learned that some of the most important things to include are logistical details — e.g. how many visits the study will have, if patients will receive reimbursement for travel, and whether they can continue taking the study drug after the trial concludes.

Keep a close eye on recruitment metrics.

Carefully tracking the metrics of clinical trial outreach can help to point out any trends that may emerge during the recruitment process. If many potential participants are not responding to follow-up calls or dropping off during part of the screening process, it may be possible that targeting or screening processes should be adjusted accordingly. To alleviate extra spending on outreach and extra work on behalf of the sites, consider how outreach can be altered to resonate specifically with patients likely to enroll.

Prioritize a patient-centric approach.

The decision to join a clinical trial is a serious one, and it is something that patients will consider carefully before committing. The more it’s possible to connect with patients on a personal level, the more comfortable they will feel when deciding to participate. Answering questions, providing access to helpful Patient Care Advocates, and helping patients find trials that are truly good fits are all ways to go above and beyond during enrollment.

Learn more about how the Antidote team connects the right patients with trials that match them. Get in touch today.