"No one is as interested or enthusiastic about your study
Principles of Recruitment: Human Subject Recruitment Strategies, Tactics & Resources No one is as interested or enthusiastic about your study as you are. Strategies There are 3 keys strategies to keep in mind when developing a recruitment and retention plan: 1. Feasibility Assessments 2. Establish and manage relationships i. Know your recruitment sites/partners ii. Know your subjects 3. Multiple approaches
Feasibility Assessment Poor enrollment is due to poor recruitment plans, but also other factors such as poor study design Keep the study as simple as possible Remind participants of the big why Feasibility Assessment Think about feasibility from the site perspective. How many potentially eligible patients?
How many would be interested in study? What is the staffs experience with research participation? What is the participants perception about study risk? How much can the study team realistically support recruitment efforts? Administrative burden What are the staffs training needs? What is the level of understanding of research participation across the study team Feasibility Assessment Use your past recruitment and retention experience to create a plan. What has worked (and not worked) in the past? What rates are realistic? Track and use your data
Use evidence from the literature Identify new opportunities to identify participants Future research registries EMR Social media Examples of Feasibility Assessments "Top Down" Funnel Calculations Funnel Parameters and Stages Enrollment Period (months) # of Sites # Patients at a Given Site with Diagnosis or # Patients Available Across All Sites % Lost During Pre-Screening
% Decline to Participate % Lost During Screening % Drop-out Post Randomization Funnel Calculations Patients Available Pre-Screen Qualified Consented (Enrolled) Randomized Completed # Enrolled / Month Values 9 20 200 0.33
0.8 0.65 0.25 Projected Values 200 134 27 9 7 3 Overall Targets Monthly Estimates # That Will Need to Be Identified
10.0 # That Will Need to Be Consented 1.3 # That Will Need to Be Randomized 0.5 1.1 0.1 0.1 Per Site Estimates (approximate)
Reverse or "Bottom Up" Funnel Calculations Funnel Parameters & Stages Enrollment Period (months) # of Sites Values 9 20 # Patients That Will Need to Be Identified 768 % Lost During Pre-Screening % Decline to Participate
% Lost During Screening % Drop-out Post Randomization 0.33 0.8 0.65 0.25 Funnel Calculations Patients That Need to Be Identified Pre-Screen Qualified Consented (Enrolled) Randomized Completed # Enrolled / Month
Per Site Estimates (approximate) Projected Values 768 514 103 36 27 11 Overall Targets # That Will Need to Be Identified 38.4
# That Will Need to Be Consented 5.1 # That Will Need to Be Randomized 1.8 Monthly Estimates 4.3 0.6 0.2 Recruitment Funnel
Potentially Eligible Identified as Potentially Eligible Referred to Study (self, provider, other) Screening Eligibility Confirmed Agrees to Participate Consents Starts Study Continues Study Completes Study Example Feasibility Title: Comparison of low dose and high dose folic acid in women trying to conceive or early in pregnancy (months) Target Enrollment = 200 women age 18-45 years
Statistical data: Monroe County population=749,606 51.7% is female 16% is black or African-American 7% of population is ages 18-45 Fertility rate: 63.0 births per 1000 women aged 15-44 years per year 30% of participants fail pre-screening. 20% will consent and enroll. 10% of subjects enrolled will drop out. Recruitment Funnel Potentially Eligible = 744,344 Female = 749,606*51.7% = 387,546 Aged 18-65 = 387,546*39.4% = 152,693 Number of pregnant women = 245,704/11.1 = 13,756 Screening = 22135*70% = 9,629
Consents = 15494*20% = 1,926 Completes Study = 3098*.90 = 1,733 Recruitment rateWould need to reach 11.5 % How many participants of target population to per week or month do you need? get 200 participants. http://www.towncharts.com/New-York/Demographics/Monroe-County-NYDemographics-data.html https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/chac/birth/b42_26.htm https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045216/36055,36 Recruitment Data Set up data collection such that you can answer where in the pipeline/funnel you are or are not having success
where is the fall off if you are recruiting from different sites what is the pattern from different sites if multiple enrollers are involved what is the pattern across enrollers if recruitment happens different days of the week or in different time periods (e.g. days, evenings) what is the pattern across these different periods if you need certain underserved populations, what is the pattern of their recruitment and retention Data Use Recruitment and retention not viewed as a science
Not viewed as a problem to be solved with data Recruitment data are monitored but not analyzed No data, missing data or data collected not useful, usable Lack of data is a missed opportunity to help inform future studies Figure out where people heard about the study
Track success from each source Systematic plan Systematic evaluation Resource Tracking Log
No data? Learn what has worked for others Talk with those in your field Conduct lit search http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=%28patie nt+selection+OR+research+subjects%29+AND+%28 randomized+control+trial+as+topic+OR+clinical+trial +as+topic+OR+biomedical+research+OR+multicente r+studies+as+topic+OR+retrospective+studies+OR+ prospective+studies+OR+case-control+studies+OR+ cohort+studies+OR+human+experimentation+OR+h ealth+surveys+OR+questionnaires%29+AND+recruit *+[ti Relationship Management
Know your recruitment sites/partners What are their barriers/facilitators Is everyone on board? Be visible/follow-up Appreciate them Relationship Management Know your (potential) subjects Do they even know about the study? What are their participation barriers/facilitators Logistic, attitudinal Do they understand the study requirements? Appreciate them Multiple approaches Have a PLAN!
Best and worst case enrollment scenarios? Expect attrition One method is not enough ResearchMatch.org Track success from each source Marketing and Advertising RECRUITMENT as a form of HEALTH COMMUNICATION Establish trust Convey a meaningful and informative message Empowering people in their search for treatment or ways to improve their health Understanding your audience Understanding the health challenges they face Building an identity (branding) Providing information that is easily accessible and understood.
Marketing and Advertising Use the four Ps Product, price, place, promotion Product Participation What are the benefits of participating Price Always a price Minimize what the subject believes he or she must pay Place Locate the recruitment, enrollment and study participation at sites that reach your audience
Promote The recruitment and study using creativity and through channels and tactics that maximize contact with and interest among the target population Marketing and Advertising
Newspaper Radio Television Bulletin Boards Posters Flyers Patient Information Letters Websites Social Media Health Fairs Craigslist Pocket cards for physicians Do not rely on only one method!!
Marketing Budget Recruitment costs are almost never budgeted Plan ahead and include in grant Size the recruitment effort for the size of the budget Timing is everything, time ads with events Duke Center for Living-STRRIDE 1 Advertising Method Local Newspaper Special Event Ad Flyer University newspaper
Radio TV Personal Referrals Other Total Percent screened/ enrolled 8% 26% 16% 13% Screening Time per person (minutes) 148
47 75 92 Ad cost per person ($) 48 35 18 0 7% 3% 17% 2% 10%
180 353 70 688 120 190 205 0 333 40 Recruitment Materials and Subject Payment Compensation is an important for successful
recruitment: Investigators must adequately describe all recruitment methods and plans for subject payment Recruitment materials and payment methods must meet the standards outlined within your institutions IRB guidelines. Investigators must submit to the IRB any revisions to recruitment material or plan prior to
implementation Recruitment Materials and Subject Payment Include in your IRB application Ad info Mode of communication Final copies of printed materials Final audio or video scripts Ensure that materials do not:
Imply a favorable outcome Use exculpatory language Emphasize payment Do not promise free payment Do not use terms new treatment, medication or drug Do not make claims not in line with FDA labeling Ad Design-Have The Right Stuff Why do it?
Who should do it? How do you do it? Registries Websites where participants can register if they are interested in research UR Health Research website Resources Local Registry http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/health-research/ Flag created in medical record and can be included in i2b2 report Research Match https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/research-subject-recruitment/recr uitment-tools/research-match.aspx
Social Media Guidelines for Research Using Social Media Social media communications (ads, onlinediaries/surveys, text messages, info about study progress must be reviewed by the RSRB) Make sure you are using a URMC Marketing approved tool or site Avoid use social media to collect PHI Measures should be taken to ensure privacy
Social Media-Pros Convenient Subjects often want to discuss their experiences May encourage enrollment and retention Makes subjects feel like they are part of a community and their contributions are recognized Good for recruiting populations that are difficult to reach Broader access Social Media-cons Information can be forwarded on to people who are not targeting People may be willing to say things anonymously they would not say in person
Examples of things that could confound a study if on-study participants share info on-line: Attempts to unblind treatment assignments Encouraging use of off-study lab testing Encouraging non-adherence to study regimen Falsifying eligibility status Misinformation on adverse event profiles Providing medical advice, discouraging reporting to investigators What to do? Ask subjects not to participate in public discussions during the study Add language addressing this into your informed consent Companies that will help with social
media YuziLabs/ studypages.com Building platform that can handle multiple sites and also has a dashboard that tracks your recruitment and drives traffic to the site using social media Example of an ad https ://studypages.com/s/angi-anorexia-nervosa-geneticsinitiative-918724/? donottrack=1 Community Engagement Community engagement is essential to increasing diversity in research participation to determine effective treatments and prevention strategies for populations most adversely impacted by health inequalities
Connects investigators with local coalitions and community based organization Start early in the research process Community Engagement Some principles to think about when engaging in community partnerships Its all about building relationships Do With - Not For or To Be responsive to community partners priorities and perspectives Plan if possible for a long term engagement Mutual benefit and respect Share findings with the groups that help
Collaborative from start to finish Recruiting underserved populations Improving recruitment Raise awareness through outreach programs Target publicity campaign to group of interest Find out why they do not want to participate Use incentives such as financial compensation therapeutic interventions provision of health services provision of transportation services to facilitate participation Retention Focus on retention must start early
Evaluate protocol for difficulties Look at pressure points for gaps in schedule Identify places in study schedule where participants may experience more stress, lose interest, need extra info, encouragement or support Consolidate visits where you Dont make any one visit too heavy Avoid large gaps between study contacts Think about the place where participants are engaged. Look at staffing/facility needs
What can be done on site or off site Create comfortable atmosphere; physically appealing clinic with parking aplenty Provide a map Tell to bring a book if there will be down time; clarify expected wait times
Water cooler, Wi-Fi, magazines Create clear consistent pattern of appointments (same room, same start and end times) If participants are coming in for fasting blood draws don't drink coffee in front of them and have snacks for afterwards
Keep communication open (hotline, email, website, social media) Recognize when subjects may be ready to flee Missed appointments Unreturned phone calls Complaints about procedures Too busy to schedule appointments Lack of enthusiasm Methods to Enhance Retention Offer convenient physical access and appointment times Take into account vacations, school breaks, holidays
Frequent communication Send newsletter Provide written or telephone contacts between visits Remember special occasions Maintain contact with PCP (If applicable) Assist with transportation Compensation Bonuses at key time points Sympathize with problems Respond to complaints Finding participants lost to followup Ask each participant to provide name and address of an individual
who does not live with them, but likely to know their whereabouts Obtain multiple emails Obtain multiple phone numbers Use postal service to get change of address
Use certified letters Use detective service Keep track of why people drop out so you can improve recruitment and retention for the next study or make changes to the current study Example of one studys retention strategy Alternative contact numbers were requested at the baseline assessment and rechecked throughout the study.
The study protocol called for at least 10 call attempts to be made per participant per contact at varying times of the day and days of the week, including evenings and weekends. Study staff repeatedly checked the clinic database and patient charts for updated phone numbers to replace disconnected or wrong numbers and made repeated attempts to recontact participants who left the country for months at a time. To alleviate transportation difficulties for patients getting to the clinic for intervention visits, and for those who no-showed multiple times, home visits were conducted. Wide time windows of 46 weeks were instituted around each contact point to allow for the greatest possibility of reaching participants. Participants still not reached after these efforts were discussed in study team meetings on a case-by-case basis to ensure that all possible avenues for reaching them had been explored. Resources Accrualnet https://accrualnet.cancer.gov/
Clinical performance partners http://www.clinicalperformancepartners.com/download able-tools-templates.php Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation http://www.ciscrp.org/
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