INCREASING PATIENT PARTICIPATION IN CANCER TRIALS

Systematic review of interventions to increase participation of cancer patients in randomised controlled trials

Background

This systematic review was the second part of a project which considered how participation rates in cancer trials might be improved. The aim of this review was to assess which interventions are effective at overcoming barriers to patient participation in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of cancer treatments. Clinical trials are an essential tool for the evaluation of medical technologies. It is crucial that enough participants are recruited to a trial to ensure that the trial can proceed and for the results to be valid. Without sufficient numbers of people taking part, the introduction of new treatments or detailed evaluation of existing ones, could be delayed. There is clearly a need to assess how effective different strategies are in overcoming reluctance to take part in trials.

Findings

Few interventions were shown to improve participation in trials. There is a clear need for further research into the range of strategies that might increase participation. Ways to overcome obstacles also need to be developed and high quality research undertaken to assess how well they actually work.

Conducted by: Catriona McDaid1, Zoé Hodges2, Debra Fayter1, Lisa Stirk1, Alison Eastwood1

1. Centre for Reviews and Dissemination; 2. Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Publications

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Systematic review of interventions to increase participation of cancer patients in randomised controlled trials. CRD Report 32. York: University of York. 2006

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Increasing patient participation in cancer trials. CRD Report 32 Summary Report. March 2006

Booth A, McDaid C, Fayter D, Eastwood A. Of barriers and benefits. SCRIP Supplements.2006;June:10-11

McDaid C, Hodges Z, Fayter D, Stirk L, Eastwood A. Increasing participation of cancer patients in randomised controlled trials: a systematic review. Trials. 2006;7:16

Posters

McDaid C, Booth A, Fayter D, Eastwood A. Challenges in disseminating review findings: a case study. 14th Cochrane Colloquium; 2006 November; Dublin, Ireland

Funding

Commissioned by the National Cancer Research Network