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Study to assess patient confidence in clinical trials

9 Jan 2020

USC Clinical Trials will this year develop a new way to evaluate and improve the experience of medical trial participants, thanks to a new grant.

USC clinical research coordinator Sarah Piplica was awarded a $10,000 Osmond Russell Memorial Scholarship by the Association of Regulatory and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) to create a consumer confidence index for the clinical trials industry.

“There are a number of patient engagement tools, but this index will be developed to gain real-time feedback from trial participants and do it in a way that facilitates better engagement,” Ms Piplica said.

“We want to create a process that garners information that can offer a meaningful score to continually benchmark our performance, and also offer solid insights into how confident participants are when taking part in trials.”

Ms Piplica said the initial stage of the project would focus on how best to collect information and what sort of information is most useful, and then develop a framework that helps clinical trial centres use that information in the most effective way.

“We’ll investigate parameters like empowerment, openness, integrity, to give an overall picture of their confidence in the trial, the trial site, the investigators and staff,” she said.

“Respect and trust are so important in healthcare and the clinical trials industry.

“When a clinical trial participant feels valued and happy with their experience, it helps to improve recruitment and retention, and this has a positive impact on the scientific outcomes that benefit whole communities.”

Initial findings from the project will be shared at the ARCS annual conference at the end of this year.

USC Clinical Trials Director Lucas Litewka said the project was a great example of the centre providing exemplary options for Sunshine Coast patients and trial participants who previously would have had to travel to Brisbane to take part in research.

“We’re committed to offering solutions that will better the outcomes for people who are sick or living with medical conditions,” Mr Litewka said.

“The development of a Consumer Confidence Index will be an important step forward in capturing the participant voice in the drug development process.”

- Megan Woodward

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