They say practices makes perfect, something we can attest to as our subject recruiting strategies have come a long way over the years. As you know, subject recruiting is the backbone of any clinical trial. If sites are unable to recruit enough subjects to complete the study, the entire project’s timelines may be compromised. And so, adequate enrollment provides a base for projected participant retention, resulting in evaluative subject data.
While careful subject selection increases retention and compliances rates, the task is not an easy one. We’ve found that a successful recruitment strategy hinges on an extensive subject database through which we are able to more accurately select the appropriate target populations for a clinical trial. Additionally, sites with personnel dedicated to subject recruitment can often mitigate the challenges associated with hitting enrollment timelines. In the past two years, our recruiting staff has screened 3,500 subjects, enrolling approximately 1,800 subjects, yielding a ~50% success rate! We believe that enthusiastic and well-informed subject recruiters are instrumental when it comes to successful subject recruitment.
Recruiting and building a well-defined database also benefits an ophthalmic practice. Bringing in new subjects not only adds to the database for future studies but also builds the patient pool for practices. The best time to recruit is far before you even need subjects, so building a database of subjects by disease state prior to a study allows your site to recruit patients faster. Some recruitment tactics that we’ve found useful include a variety of subject-directed materials such as newspaper advertisements, emails, billboards, direct mailers, and radio clips.