How Patient Recruitment Influences the Success of Clinical Trials

Recruiting suitable patients for clinical trials is critical in developing new medicines and treatments that can improve people’s lives. But how does this process work, and what are the challenges?

Patient Recruitment: The Biggest Challenge in Clinical Research

Patient recruitment is one of the biggest challenges in clinical research. In order to be able to scientifically evaluate the results of a clinical trial, both the number of participants and the specific inclusion and exclusion criteria are precisely defined by the researchers in advance.

Due to research into advanced therapies and the treatment of rare diseases, the study criteria are also becoming increasingly specific. It is therefore often difficult to find patients who meet the specific criteria of a study.

  • Only about one in five clinical trials finds enough participants in the predefined time frame.

Delays in the conduct of clinical trials result in delayed drug approvals, delayed market launches, and increased costs for the respective research projects. As a result, patients ultimately have to wait longer for new treatment options.

Lack of Knowledge about Clinical Research

One of the main causes of this problem is the lack of awareness and information about clinical trials among the general public. Despite the many barriers, surveys show that there is great interest among patients in participating in trials.

  • 3 out of 4 patients do not know how to find a clinical trial.

To overcome this obstacle, researchers and pharmaceutical companies are therefore increasingly relying on new strategies to reach potential participants. One effective method is to collaborate with physicians, medical facilities, or a patient recruitment company like James Lind Care who facilitate patient communities including the British Research Panel, which serves as an important interface between patients and the research community.

“Through our direct connection to the patient and the clarification of study-specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, we have the opportunity to facilitate the contact of interested patients to appropriate research institutions,” explains Research Nurse, Vera Gordon.

In addition, digital technologies offer new opportunities to get in touch with patients. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow researchers to reach a broader audience and share relevant information about clinical research. In addition, patients can easily apply for pre-selection from home.

The final medical examinations and decision making regarding study participation always remain with the physician and patient.

Promoting Acceptance of Clinical Trials

Another approach is to increase awareness of clinical trials among the general public. Medical research and its impact on health care should be more present in the media to promote understanding and acceptance of trials. By including people who have already participated in research, real-life testimonials can be shared. These can provide valuable insight to interested patients and help inform a decision about possible participation.

Collaboration with patient organisations is also important. Through your work, the day-to-day needs and concerns of affected individuals can be better understood and thus potential barriers to accessing clinical research can be uncovered. Patient organisations also play a critical role in raising awareness about clinical trials and can play an important role in reducing prejudice against clinical research by sharing transparent information.

Transparency Helps in Making Informed Decisions

In addition to the recruitment itself, it is important to provide detailed information about clinical trials. Understandable patient information, clear explanations of the study objectives, and education about potential risks and expected benefits help to ensure that patients feel well informed and safe when they make a decision to participate.

“Every single patient in research is important, because without these patients there would be a standstill in research and thus no approaches for new treatment methods. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who wants to participate!” Explains Research Nurse, Vera Gordon.

Overall, patient recruitment in clinical research remains a challenge, but the integration of digital technologies offers new opportunities. The British Research Panel’s mission is to bridge the gap between science and patients, contributing to the faster and more efficient development of new treatments.

Are you interested in participating in clinical research? Take a look at our current studies: Our current studies – British Research Panel


Written by
Eileen Ziemann

14 thoughts on “How Patient Recruitment Influences the Success of Clinical Trials

  1. I think research is so important I had an eye infection and was offered an experimental drug it saved my eyesight so I volunteered to do medical research at a local hospital some was paid very generously and had multiple health checks

  2. HCP at hospital badly need to promote their own research unit and work and studies going on, I go to the hospital frequently and research is never mentioned yet my hospital is linked to over 200 active studies at the moment. I joined one recently and nine months in I was the first patient to join the study, how disappointing is that? The team were so excited and passionate about their study that I felt so bad for them and now actively join in research when I can even if just proof reading patients leaflets to help in a small way indirectly. At the time I went I was even under a relevant team at the hospital but had to find out about it myself!

  3. I am. Interested in being considered but I would mention I suffer from COPD, Atrill Fibulation, osteoarthritis (right knee) poor mobility

  4. I have type 2 Diabetes and would like to take part in your research programme. I am interested in all aspects, but particularly in foot problems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *