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PRioRiTy II: The research project aiming to set the agenda for trials retention research

Posted on 17th August 2018 by


Randomised controlled trials are central to evidence-based medicine and healthcare. Thousands of randomised trials are designed and conducted around the world every year. These trials provide us with evidence about the effectiveness of medicinal products, devices or services, therefore enabling patients, researchers, healthcare professionals and policy-makers to make evidence-based decisions.

What is surprising about randomised trials is that the design and execution of the processes fundamental to their success is often not based on reliable evidence.

In a previous Students 4 Best Evidence blog post I introduced Trial Forge; an initiative aiming to make trials more efficient by generating, coordinating and spreading awareness of the evidence behind trial decisions. I focussed specifically on my work around the recruitment of potential participants to trials, which you can find out more about here.

Now, a new Trial Forge related project is focussing on how we can keep those participants in trials; the process of participant retention. PRioRiTy II is a research project in collaboration with the James Lind Alliance.

PRioRiTy II aims to identify the most important things that we currently don’t know about things that affect whether people stay involved in trials. This is important because trial teams work out the number of participants they need for a trial to produce meaningful results.  If lots of people drop-out of the trial early, then the trial results may become unreliable or unstable.

The project started with a survey which involved people across the UK and Ireland who are, or have been, involved directly in designing, running, analysing, or taking part and/or staying involved in randomised trials. This survey collected people’s suggestions for important questions about trial retention that still need answering.

Those questions have now been reduced to a shortlist of 27 questions.  Our second survey asks people to choose their top 10 questions from this shortlist.  These top 10 lists will feed into the next stage of the process, which will produce the final list of the 10 most important unanswered questions in trial retention.

We want your help in improving the future of clinical trials by improving what we know about the best ways to encourage people to stay involved in clinical trials.

The survey only takes 5 minutes, and it would enable us to include your views as we set the agenda for trials retention research. To take part in the survey, please click here.

For more information about PRioRiTy II, take a look here and also at the video below.


Heidi Gardner

Hi, I'm Heidi. I graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a 1st class degree in Pharmacology and have now begun a PhD in Applied Health Sciences as part of Trial Forge. Primarily I'll be working on patient recruitment into clinical trials, hoping to understand existing methods and find better ways to improve trial recruitment and retention of participants. View more posts from Heidi

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