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