How to stay ahead of misinformation and arm those seeking new treatment opportunities?
What are the future barriers that can sabotage patient recruitment process?
Misinformation and misunderstanding of clinical trials will continue to be a barrier to patient recruitment. COVID has enhanced and highlighted just how rapid misinformation can spread and impact people’s actions. There have always been misunderstandings and misconceptions on clinical trials, stigmas of people being “guinea pigs”. As much as we strive to break through misinformation, social media platforms and ease of access to various forms of information make it a challenging war to combat.
How can a successful pre-recruitment strategy influence the whole clinical trial?
To the above, the more we can push accurate information through patient voices and advocates, the more we can create an environment that offers legitimate information. We continue to gather information directly from the patients and parents (for pediatric trials), so we can provide information and answers that proactively address common questions and concerns. If we can get and stay ahead of the wrong information, we can arm those seeking new treatment opportunities with the right information and confidence they are making an informed decision based on accuracy.
There are so many avenues of information to target: Physicians, Nurses, Medical Assistants, School nurses/teachers, parents, family members, church members. The list goes on and on. We have to stay vigilant in providing information to all these influencers in a clear, accurate, concise manner and it’s a long-term effort.
How do you see the future modernisation of the clinical trial conduction and the patient recruitment process?
I envision technology having a heavy hand in clinical trial conduction. Utilizing text messaging to connect and keep connected with patients through the course of their treatment journey, through to ideally a clinical trial journey. Increased availability to conduct study visits virtually or in the comfort and convenience of one’s home. Continued evolution in electronic medical records (EMR) systems, to increase identification of and ultimately reach to potential patients. These are just a few examples of how modernization and innovations can continually be evaluated and utilized to enhance overall recruitment into clinical trials.
Nicole YINGST is an Associate Director of Patient Recruitment Programs at Pfizer. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the clinical trial industry, developing various patient recruitment and retention activities intended to support study milestones. Nicole strategizes in close collaboration with study teams to continually analyse recruitment/retention strategies, identifying innovative tactics and improved methods to successful study completion.