6-Step Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Process


Pre-Recruitment Inquiry Phase

Step 1:  Research, Discovery, Documentation

Data collection – literature reviews – media analysis – interviews – focus groups – study design review – environmental scan – situation analysis

Planning for patient recruitment outreach begins by asking important questions about your trial and the patients you need to recruit. We customize outreach strategies by tapping potential patients’ knowledge and awareness of disease and clinical trials, as well as potential barriers to trial participation. Armed with background research, we present a “situation analysis” upon which we build the recruitment plan unique to your trial.

Identification Phase

Step 2:  Communications Goal and Objectives

Defining the primary reason for engaging in the recruitment effort and setting SMART objectives—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely

Setting realistic, measurable communications objectives provides a framework for the development of an outreach plan and future activities.

In this phase we ask:

How many patients do you need and over what time period?

How difficult or easy is recruitment likely to be?

How ambitious can you be and still set reasonable recruitment goals?

Step 3:  Audiences

Primary and secondary audience identification and segmentation

Identifying and segmenting audiences is vital to developing targeted messages, materials and communications channels.  The more you know about who you are trying to recruit, the better you can tailor messages and tactics to save both time and money.

Step 4:  Messages

Message development and testing

Findings from the research phase will be instrumental in developing messages that will resonate with potential patients and move them to action. We look for the primary motivator: what’s in it for the volunteer? Through messaging, we educate patients about their role in contributing to the larger research community, while establishing the researcher and the research team as their trusted partners.

Development Phase

Step 5:  Strategy and Tactics

Recruitment plan development – traditional outreach – partnerships – mainstream and minority media – online strategy – brochure – fact sheet – Q&A  – exhibit – timeline – budget

PR Strategists delivers a written recruitment outreach plan that serves as the roadmap for all communications activities to be implemented. We identify the channels through which the messages will be delivered and the activities that will be used to deliver them, with special consideration for traditional (radio and mail) and nontraditional (beauty shops and grocery stores) outreach.  We include a detailed timeline and budget for cost effective delivery.

Assessment Phase

Step 6:  Evaluation 

Process evaluation – tracking forms – public inquiries – media tracking – web site traffic tracking – outcome evaluation

At a critical time during the implementation phase, we will begin an assessment of whether the recruitment plan is meeting the overall goal and objectives. We build an evaluation methodology into every strategy and stop to refine the program as it progresses to fine tune strategies before moving forward.

Need help with your trial recruitment?  Contact us:

By phone: 443.283.7079
By e-mail: info@prstrategists.com