Recruitment, a key to study success
When potential study participants first come into contact with CTC, they reach the recruitment team. The team, consisting of a recruitment manager, two recruiters and a marketing coordinator, are specialized in recruitment of both healthy volunteers and patient populations.
"When CTC started, the research nurses recruited the study subjects, but we soon realized that this way of working was very inefficient. With a team focusing solely on recruitment, the process becomes both easier and more time and cost effective", says Sandra Gunnarsson, recruitment manager.
Since the recruitment team took over the recruitment process, the number of screening failures has decreased dramatically and, subsequently, the time to reach the last-subject-in milestone has decreased in all types of studies.
"It’s very rare that the subjects become screening failures due to study specific exclusion and inclusion criteria or their unavailability to participate on the necessary study dates. In most cases, non-eligibility depends on a lab result or other criteria that we can’t check in advance."
The recruitment team gives input to the study protocols, develops the advertisement texts, makes targeted adverts and manages all CTC’s media channels. Before each study starts, a risk-based recruitment and marketing plan is put together, covering in detail a prediction on how to find the study population within the budget.
"We estimate the number of expected pre-screenings and always have action plans to mitigate any potential delays in the recruitment. During the pre-screening process, the advertisement outcome is tracked. By doing so, the recruitment team becomes experts in reaching the same populations again."
When the study requires a certain patient group, the team also works closely with specialists. For example, at the nearby university hospital Akademiska, where we also have our first-in-human clinic.
"In addition, we have our own database with healthy volunteers and patients who have already given their consent to receive study information and who are willing to participate in future studies."
CTC’s database CQ consist of almost 8000 people and is constantly renewed after marketing campaigns and new studies. At CTC’s recruitment website forskningsperson.se, subjects may highlight their interest for our ongoing studies and register on the database, thereby being the first to get notified when a new study is about to start.
"Many recruited healthy volunteers and patients have a drive to make a difference when it comes to health care and new treatments. Patients often want to contribute to improve the quality of life for people with the same disease as they have. Some of our participants are simply interested in how a clinical study is conducted due to their ongoing education at the university", says Sandra Gunnarsson.
Since the recruitment team is the public face of CTC in terms of the first patient contact, the engaged team members aim to be service minded and trustworthy.
"It’s important that all persons that we talk to experience that they have been well informed about the study and feel confident in participating. Many persons actually return to take part of other future studies. All our study participants should know just how important they are for science to move forward to them and that they are key elements in a clinical study."