Recruiting For Clinical Trials

Recruiting for clinical trials

Catriona Williams from talkhealth presenting to Southampton Clinical Trials Unit

talkhealth have recently been to visit two NHS clinical trials units – Southampton and Cardiff, to present to a large number of trial managers ways in which talkhealth can support recruitment on to their trials, covering a full spectrum of health conditions.

Our community members are always interested to hear of trials, with general feedback being that people don’t know where to go for information generally on clinical trials.

In 2020, talkhealth will be working on a number of educational campaigns with the NHS and NIHR to heighten the awareness of how important it is for people to come forward and volunteer for clinical trials – for all sectors and health conditions. 

A few simple and quick tips for better direct patient recruitment

  • At the beginning of recruitment cast your net as wide as possible, the more that apply the more choice you will have, as trial criteria can be changeable
  • Keep the initial remit as short and simple as possible for anyone to understand in plain English – using medical terms can be detrimental in scaring people and many may not know the exact medical terminology for their condition and thus not recognise they could well be suited for the trial
  • Often people are happy to travel further than you think, so make it clear if travelling expenses are included
  • People like to communicate in a number of ways – so offering electronic registration and/or telephone contact alternatives gives people a choice
  • Payments for trials – if you are offering some form of payment other than travel, make this very clear, people are grateful for this and see this as a recognition of their own time and effort
  • Encourage people to discuss your trial with a doctor, as you may find this will encourage the doctor to help further in your recruitment campaign
  • Don’t just look to GP’s or hospital consultants to recruit – consider and explore going directly to the public
  • Social media can be very effective tools for your campaign, particularly Twitter and Facebook, where specific cohorts can be found easily

The NHS website provides some good pointers here.

If you would like further support in the recruitment of your own trials, please do contact us to see how we may be able to support, as not only do we look to our own talkhealth community but we have a very wide range of collaboration partners who we work with as well.


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