Improving Patient Recruitment and Retention in Clinical Research

Numerous factors contribute to the process of patients choosing whether to participate and remain in clinical research studies. These include, limited knowledge about clinical trials, access to knowledge about the clinical trial and insufficient knowledge about rights, safety and benefits. 

However, people do not always make rational decisions because the decision-making process is often at the subconscious level and biased.  that includes potential participants’ decisions whether to take part or drop out of a clinical trial. We use Behavioural Economics to help you involve patients more thoroughly in the clinical research process.

We will work with you to develop a recruitment and retention strategy that brings together personal, social and contextual behavioural factors in the decision process of the patient, so you can deliver effective communication and messaging that creates a positive experience for the patient.

To conceptualise the reasons as to what motivates patients to take part in a clinical trial we use the Behavioural Economics framework. Using this framework helps ensure that all important issues around the decision-making process are examined to enable us to work with you in developing a patient recruitment strategy that will enhance recruitment and retention.

Involve Patients More Effectively

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The Conceptual Framework

The three components of the behavioural Economics Framework are :

People think short-term and avoid loss rather than achieve loss aversion. In other words, loss is felt more keenly than gain.

In addition to the need to retain a positive self-image, individual decision-making is heavily shaped by others; this is the power of the messenger, rather than of the message itself. It is certainly true that behaviour can be influenced by not only experts and authority, but peers, patient groups and networks, and their communications – through social media and mobile phone apps, for example – can have a significant effect on trial recruitment and retention. This is particularly relevant where people find themselves in ambiguous situations and look to others for guidance. This is known as informational influence.

When it comes to making a judgement or choice, as humans, people do not like to think too much. They cannot attend to and process all available information. Too much information and too many messages leaves them unable to cope, and System 1 thinking – perceptual, intuitive and influenced by emotion – kicks in to help people make the choices that come easily to mind.

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