Tufts Analysis: Patient Recruitment Shortcomings Laid at Feet of Poor Provider, Researcher Engagement

Ken Getz

Ken Getz, Associate Professor and Director of Sponsored Research, Tufts CSDD

Sponsors, contract research organizations, and investigative site personnel aren’t adequately engaging nurses and physicians as partners in the quest to encourage patients to participate in clinical trials, says a new analysis from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD).

Healthcare providers might be justified in feeling some vindication, says Ken Getz, associate professor and director of sponsored research at Tufts CSDD, who led the study: “The study results challenge the long-held notion that healthcare providers are a barrier to recruitment, and suggest opportunities to rethink and leverage the role of healthcare providers as facilitators and critical partners in engaging patients before and during clinical trial participation.”

The study, based on a survey of 2,000 physicians and nurses primarily in the United States and Europe, found that nearly all physicians (91%), and the majority of nurses (72%) feel “somewhat” or “very” comfortable discussing the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial with patients, but physicians refer fewer than 0.2% of their patients into clinical trials. Nurses refer even fewer, the study says.

Ken Getz is participating in a panel session at ACRP 2017 Meeting & Expo exploring the use of metrics in clinical trial operations, including those used by sponsors to evaluate CROs, those used by sponsors and CROs to evaluate sites, those used by sites to evaluate performance, and more. View Program & Schedule

Other interesting findings:

  • Physicians and nurses cite the inability to access information and insufficient information and time as key reasons for not referring patients into clinical trials.
  • Only 9% of physicians and 2% of nurses say fear of losing patients influences their decision not to refer.
  • Physicians in clinical practice are 2.7 times more likely to refer their patients into clinical trials than physicians in hospital-based settings.
  • Nearly 30% of physicians and 45% of nurses reported never receiving initial or follow-up contact from investigative site staff following a referral, and a higher percentage reported never receiving their patients’ clinical trial results.

Author: Michael Causey

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To purchase a copy of the report from the January/February Tufts CSDD Impact Report, please visit the Tufts Website.