CSSi Blogs

Understanding & Removing the Barriers to Patient Retention

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 14-Aug-2019

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Each year, $1.89 billion is spent on patient recruitment for clinical trials.1 With a 30% average dropout rate across all clinical trials, many pharmaceutical companies are spending a large amount of money to recruit patients who aren't staying enrolled in their trials.

Needed study data for regulatory submission and the overall success of a clinical trial depend largely on study participants fulfilling their roles and responsibilities until the very last day. To increase retention rates across trials, we must first understand the reasons patients are dropping out2.

  1. Inconvenient location
  2. Physically unable
  3. Unclear expectations of role in study
  4. Lack of appreciation
  5. Scheduling conflicts
  6. Forgetting visits
  7. Non-compliance with study procedures and medication
  8. Not seeing an improvement in condition
  9. Overall inconvenience

Once these reasons are understood, study teams can outline steps that can be taken to increase retention rates across trials.

Inconvenient Location - Set a mile radius around the site when initiating recruitment activities. Many times, patients are unwilling to drive more than 30 miles to the site closest to their location.

Physically Unable - Arrange rides for patients (and caregivers) who may be unable to plan their own means of transportation.

Unclear Expectations of Role in Study - Create a guide study teams can use during the ICF discussion, as they are explaining the study and a patient's expectations to them – this ensures all the important information is covered, and the patient is aware of their role and responsibilities during the trial.

Lack of Appreciation - Develop "welcome packages" for patients to receive during their first study visit. Include items that will be useful to them throughout the duration of the study.

Scheduling conflicts - Ensure the study staff is scheduling appointments when they are convenient for the patient and/or their caregiver. Offer evening and weekend study visits if necessary.

Forgetting visits - Enroll participating patients in a retention portal that will alert them to upcoming study visits. If they receive friendly reminders, they will be less likely to miss their scheduled appointments.

Non-compliance with Study Procedures and Medication - Set reminders in the retention portal for medication dosages and other important study procedures. Patients may forget on their own unless reminded in some way.

Not Seeing an Improvement in Condition - Remind patients why their study participation is so important. Educate them on how their involvement could make a difference, and how it may lead to a future treatment option that would not have been possible without their help/commitment to the study.

Overall Inconvenience - When you are designing your protocol, ensure you are minimizing the burdens a patient may face whenever possible. If you can address potential issues from the very beginning, you will increase the likelihood of a patient staying enrolled until the end.

As a full-service patient recruitment agency, CSSi can also help your study team overcome these obstacles to patient retention. We understand how important it is to finish your study on-time, on-budget, and with enough study data for the next steps in your drug development process. Contact us to get started!

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The 24-Hour Window: Responding to Your Referrals Before They Lose Interest

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 03-Sep-2020

Patient recruitment is often a time-consuming and high-cost step in completing your clinical trials. Your marketing team will have to develop the correct study message and a strong call-to-action to get people motivated to see if they prequalify. You must strategically target your patient population and generate interest in participation among this audience.

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Recruiting for Trials During a Global Pandemic

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 16-Apr-2020

The COVID-19 virus has significantly changed the way the world operates. It has caused unprecedented interruptions to many industries and businesses around the globe, and clinical trials are no exception. New guidelines have been issued by the FDA regarding clinical trials, which could have a significant impact on study enrollment and patient retention.

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Don’t Put All Your Recruitment Eggs in One Basket

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 12-Mar-2020

As you begin the patient recruitment process for your study, it can be tempting to put all of your money towards one method. You place all bets on digital advertising because that generated the most referrals during your last study. What happens if digital doesn’t perform for you this time? It’s best to spread your advertising budget out over a number of recruitment methods. This gives you the ability to truly test what is most effective.

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Answering the Lack of Diversity in Clinical Trials

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 15-Nov-2019

Identifying and implementing ways to increase diversity in clinical trials is a growing topic in the industry. Almost 40 percent of Americans belong to a racial or ethnic minority, but roughly 80-90 percent of participants in clinical trials for new drugs are still disproportionately Caucasian.1

In order to make sure drugs and treatments are safe and reliable to all people, there needs to be a better representation

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New Advertising Options for Patient Recruitment: Are they on your radar?

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 29-Aug-2019

We all see others do it, and we probably experience it ourselves it every day.

Watching videos and tv shows on devices other than the TV in the family room, catching up on your favorite sitcom on-demand because you weren't home to watch it at 8pm when it originally aired, or streaming videos on YouTube to pass time. As the years go by, technology and media are changing – and so is how we are using them.

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image of a woman reviewing app on her phone

Understanding & Removing the Barriers to Patient Retention

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 14-Aug-2019

Each year, $1.89 billion is spent on patient recruitment for clinical trials.1 With a 30% average dropout rate across all clinical trials, many pharmaceutical companies are spending a large amount of money to recruit patients who aren't staying enrolled in their trials.

Needed study data for regulatory submission and the overall success of a clinical trial depend largely on study participants fulfilling their roles and responsibilities until the very last day.

Read More
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CSSi Celebrates 14 Years as a Full-Service Patient Recruitment Agency

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 11-Apr-2019

As a sponsor, CRO or site, there are a surplus of patient recruitment companies you can turn to when you need help finding patients for your studies, and that number grows higher every day. Most of these companies offer a niche service, but very few are a full-service, global recruitment agency like ours.

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Traditional Advertising Is Still Alive

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 01-Apr-2019

We've all heard it before: "traditional advertising is dead." But if that were true, why are we still seeing commercials on TV, hearing ads on the radio, and seeing billboards on the highway during our morning commute?

Because it's not true! Traditional advertising is still very much alive and used by some of the largest companies worldwide.

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Eight-Step Guide to a Strong Clinical Trial Website

  • By Gabrielle St Remy
  • 05-Feb-2019

There are about 93 million Americans searching online for information related to a health-related topic, with 63% of those individuals looking up a specific disease or medical problem. In fact, looking for health or medical information comes high on the list as one of the most popular activities people do when they are

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Clinical Trial Branding: Why is it so Important?

  • By Clara Hughes, Creative Director
  • 25-Jan-2019

Let's imagine two different scenarios:
A: You're sitting in a doctor's office, and you see a poster for ACN-053-2414, a clinical trial testing medication for acne in adults.
B: You're sitting in a doctor's office, and you see a poster for the Face It Acne Research Study, a clinical trial testing medication for acne in adults.

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