From participants to partners: The evolution of active patient inclusion in trials
Recruitment numbers are the backbone of clinical research. Without correct recruitment numbers, study results can be invalid, preventing new treatments from becoming available for patients and creating unnecessary additional costs for organisations. Plus, research may not be generalised to practice if the population is not diverse and representative.
However, achieving recruitment targets is just one part of the puzzle; retaining participants poses its own set of challenges.
Here, Professor Melanie Davies – clinical director at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Patient Recruitment Centre, Leicester – sheds light on the evolving role of patients and how engaging with individuals before and during their healthcare pathway can lead to successful recruitment and retention to clinical trials.
Embed research into the community
At an organisational level, establishing a patient community that is research-aware and research-active is essential. The aim is to develop local communities where hospitals, GPs, and other healthcare-providing sites are viewed as trusted sources for information on research, the benefits of research are known widely around the community, and that people know how to access these systems.
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