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Online Exclusive Article
Open Access Article

Enhancing Recruitment and Retention in Randomized Clinical Trials of Cancer Symptom Management

Ann M. Berger
Donna Edwards Neumark
Julie Chamberlain
ONF 2007, 34(2), E17-E22 DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.E17-E22

Purpose/Objectives: To describe techniques to overcome challenges of collaborating with multiple clinical sites and participants to enhance recruitment and retention for cancer symptom management randomized clinical trials (RCTs).

Data Sources: Personal experiences and publications related to recruitment and retention of sites and participants in RCTs, which were found by searching MEDLINE®, CINAHL®, and PsycINFO records.

Data Synthesis: Techniques to overcome challenges related to multisite research, patient confidentiality guidelines, and work with an at-risk population were identified and applied successfully in an RCT designed to modify fatigue during and following adjuvant breast cancer chemotherapy.

Conclusions: Successful recruitment and retention depended on the value that site personnel placed on symptom management research, identification of a designated contact person at each site, and flexibility in maintaining communication among the project director, contact individuals, and participants.

Implications for Nursing: Initial and ongoing collaboration with participants and a contact person at each site, assurance of privacy of protected health information, and emotional support are critical to recruitment and retention throughout cancer symptom management RCTs.