Interventions to improve retention in a surgical, clinical trial: A pragmatic, stakeholder-driven approach

Paul A Leighton, Stephen D Brealey, Joseph Dias

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OBJECTIVE: To explore stakeholder perspectives upon participant retention in clinical trials, and to generate strategies to support retention in a surgical, clinical trial.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: The SWIFFT trial is a multicenter study comparing treatments for the fracture of the waist of the scaphoid bone in adults. Here we report upon a multistage, iterative consultative process with SWIFFT stakeholders, these include workshops with members of the public, with nurses involved in data collection, and with consultant clinicians. Structured discussions were digitally recorded and transcribed, data were handled and analyzed following a framework approach to qualitative data analysis.

RESULTS: Removing practical barriers were identified as important factors in supporting retention. Stakeholders also identified that (i) how well a study is understood and (ii) how much it is valued are important factors in an individual's willingness to maintain their involvement. A number of strategies resulted from this consultation, these include: in-clinic data collection, co-ordinated clinical and research appointments, a SWIFFT website, and newsletter.

CONCLUSION: A participatory approach to trial retention might engage all relevant stakeholders in the delivery of a clinical trial, it might also support the generation of specific and contextually relevant solutions to the challenge of participant retention.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalEvid Based Med.
Early online date22 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Chinese Cochrane Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


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