How to improve accrual to clinical trials of symptom control 1: Recruitment strategies
Inadequate patient accrual remains the primary problem for clinical trials of integrative therapies for symptom control. Many difficulties can be predicted and avoided if a careful, evidence-based approach to trial design is taken: trialists should attempt to get as many data as possible on the study population by querying institutional databases, examining case notes, following inpatient rounds, and conducting "dry runs" by asking doctors for referrals. Trials require aggressive recruitment strategies, including advertising, writing to patients at home, scanning clinic lists, and identifying critical points during clinical care at which patients can be approached. The information given to patients during any initial contact should be as simple and general as possible: presenting too much information too soon can be overwhelming and off-putting.