For years, connecting prospective patients to pertinent clinical trials has been challenging. The barriers facing the medical field in this respect are many, as are the rewards when people can be found to participate. Clinical trials benefit everyone involved to one degree or another.But the question remains, how best can clinical research be made accessible and attractive for patients?
Clinical Research is Time Intensive
Identifying some of the challenges is one of the first steps in overcoming them. Clinical research is time consuming. It takes an investment of time on the part of the physician as well as the patient. In addition to learning about the benefits and possible risks of the treatment or therapy, the physician or professional conducting the trial must be able to communicate necessary information to the patient in a way that is understandable and meaningful.
Building trust is an essential component of making the clinical research attractive. It takes time to relieve the fears of the patient when they are considering becoming a study candidate. The questions are not just during the initial phase of the trial; they will continue throughout the process. People do not want to be treated as “study subjects” though they may be seen that way. Keeping the human factor in perspective is an important part of making clinical research more attractive to patients. When a person feels as if he or she is part of the journey and a player in the game, the entire process becomes much more attractive.
When possible, it may be more productive to facilitate patient connections for information sharing. This is something that can happen organically as patients meet one another in waiting areas and share information to make their circumstances easier to manage. Patients share “life hacks” that solve problems that may not be on the radar of clinical research staff. Nurturing these connections can be beneficial in several aspects.
There are safety precautions and measures that must be followed to keep patients safe, and at the same time there are innovative solutions that patients devise to help them manage obstacles better. Being aware of these conversations between patients, listening to them when they approach you with a new idea, perhaps even providing a board for posting suggestions or fostering an “idea group” can be an avenue to help clinical research trials be more accessible and attractive to patients. It shows that there is a genuine caring for the individuals beyond the clinical research. That can mean the difference for someone who is undecided about joining a trial.
DM Clinical Research is committed to connecting people with high quality clinical trials to help further the advancement of medicine. The clinical research we perform benefits patients and the field of medicine as together we discover new and innovative ways to increase the quality of life for those experiencing certain health challenges. Contact us if you have questions or interest in any of our clinical trials.