Top 5 Barriers of Patient Enrollment


Organisations that conduct clinical trials have to understand that being patient-centric becomes more and more important to enroll participants in trials. In fact, ignoring the patient’s needs can even lead to fewer enrollment rates and delays.

Nowadays, patients are more proactive than ever in managing their medical care. Through the internet, they have all information they need to understand more about their condition and possible treatment methods. Be it educational content that is helping them; or being connected to a community, or even chatting online with medical professionals. The important fact is that patients are not anymore just listening to medical professionals, in fact, they INTERACT with medical professionals.

At CitrusLabs, we have a deep relationship with patients we recruit for clinical trials, and regularly conduct patient survey. Read below what the top 5 barriers are (according to actual patients) why they decided NOT to join a trial:

1. Not Patient-Centric enough

It’s very simple: put yourself in the shoes of the subject! When you write the protocol, think about how much work it is for the subjects to participate in the trial. Think about if there are costs involved, how much work they will miss, or what the benefits to the patient are. Understanding the patient is key and can easily be lost while preparing the protocol.

2. Risk and Uncertainty

Specifically testing a new drug in Phase I and II trials are not compelling, if (long-term) side effects and efficacy are not clear. People fear long-term damages of their health. Taking the uncertainty away with more in-depth information could be the solution.

3. The chances of receiving a Placebo

Often, patients want to join trials to get access to latest treatment methods. This is true specifically if they live with a chronic-disease, or are even terminally ill. If a study also offers a placebo control group, this can affect the willingness of certain potential subjects dramatically.

4. Patients don't think they qualify

Some people never consider getting in touch with researchers about clinical trials, because they naturally think they do not qualify. Having extensive lists of inclusion and exclusion criteria doesn’t help here either. Most people though state that being actively addressed about the option of joining a trial is an important factor about their decision to join a trial.

Solutions like CitrusLabs match only patients that qualify to trials so that response rates and enrollment rates are higher.

5. Intervention matters

Patients are more likely to participate in trials, if they are ok with the intervention method. For example, Patients more deterred by injection interventions than e.g. drug interventions that can be taken orally. As people are more informed about their conditions through the internet, the intervention also must make sense to them.

Please note that these are general reasons why patients decided not to join a study. Obviously, every study has their own barriers and being proactive about these barriers is important. The best way forward is to understand your patients and their decision process. When you do this, you are on a very good way to maximise enrollment numbers.

Want to learn more? Or, have any questions? Contact us today!

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