How Research Sites Can Use Clinical Trial Recruitment Plan Templates

Clinical trial patient recruitment can be one of the most stressful parts of running a study at a research site. Delays are common, and can hold back progress for the trial in general.

A recruitment plan template can help your site organize the various pieces involved in patient recruitment before your recruitment plan launches.

Here are a few ways that sites specifically can use a template to support recruitment efforts:

Research your patient population.

Conducting thorough research into your patient population is one of the most important parts of planning for recruitment. In your template, make note of what questions about patients you want to answer, such as demographic details and quality of life concerns for patients. Include notes about your experience running other trials in this disease area, if your site has run them before.

You can also include a list of benefits to joining your trial that you believe will resonate with your patient population. You can then use these notes to draft compelling advertising copy to submit to your Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Map out your campaign channels.

Based on your patient population research, decide where you would like to advertise your trial. If you’re using tools like Facebook and Google AdWords, consider what your targeting criteria will be. You can use factors such as interests and location for Facebook, and keywords and location for Google. Think about whether your patient population is large enough that more general outreach, such as through radio ads or print ads, might be effective, as well. Also consider the resources you have at your own site. You may have a patient database, or doctors who can let patients who may qualify know about your trial.

Prepare for challenges.

As you research your patient population, take note of any potential barriers to recruitment that you come across. Are there any exclusion criteria that you believe will slow recruitment? Is there a way you can finetune your targeting to reach those patients specifically? Consider if there’s a point at which you would reach out to a clinical trial patient recruitment company for more help connecting with patients for your trial. It may be helpful to reach out to a few companies you’re interested in for their rates and experience, so you have a few options if you decide to go forward with getting help from an agency.

Draft ad copy.

Based on your patient research, start drafting language that you believe will connect with patients. Consider why patients might join your trial, and try to address concerns they may have around clinical research in general in your copy. When putting together materials to share with your IRB, try to include a variety of options so you have plenty of variation to test and find what messaging performs best. For example, you may put together content that addresses a patient’s interest in helping research, and other versions that focus more on the goal of the study drug.

Ready to start planning for a successful campaign? Download our patient recruitment template for suggestions on research questions, campaign structure, and other best practices.