Site location, travel assistance key factors to clinical trial participation: BBK report

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/zimmytws)
(Image: Getty/zimmytws)

Related tags Clinical trials Patient recruitment Patient centricity

Patient-centric programs for clinical trials, such as travel assistance, are major deciding factors for patients considering participation – and should be standard for all studies, says BBK.

BBK Worldwide and ClinicalConnection, a web-based clinical trial notification and information service, have partnered to conduct a “Patient Voice” survey, which received more than 3,500 responses.

According to the report, Half (51%) of respondents said they would consider participating in a clinical trial, with 43% citing the availability of travel assistance as a deciding factor. Additionally, 44% of those said awareness of reimbursement programs would have “a major effect”​ on their decision.

Of the percent that had not participated in a clinical study, 23% said the main reason was that the site was too far from their home or work – reinforcing the effect that patient-centric programs, such as travel assistance, can have on a patient’s decision to participate in a clinical study, said Aaron Fleishman, director of market development at BBK.

However, of those who had participated in a clinical trial, 65% rated their experience as a nine or a 10, with 10 being positive and one being negative, which is an encouraging response as the industry continues to focus on patient centricity, added Fleishman, who said “efforts are paying off.”

According to the report, forty percent of those respondents who rated their experience as six or lower said travel assistance would have been helpful.

Fleishman said the survey data “can help push the industry forward to think more about what patients need to know when they are considering participating in a clinical trial.”

“As an example, making sure patients know about the engagement programs available to them while they are learning about the study and considering to participate, instead of only learning about engagement programs like travel assistance once enrolled in the study,” ​he added.

The survey responses show that travel and reimbursement programs “should be standard with all studies,” ​Fleishman said.

Focusing on the patient experience

BBK also last week announced a rebrand as it aims to position itself as “The Patient Experience Company.”

Joan Bachenheimer, BBK founding principal said: “We want to frame the dialogue around the confluence of variables that create an experience and deploy our technology and expert communications in support of consumers, family members, doctors, nurses and other site staff and the sponsors of research themselves all of whom play a role in creating the patient’s experience.”

“If you can affect experience you have positioned yourself powerfully to have a positive impact on research and development pursuits,”​ she told us.

Bachenheimer explained that health care marketing has shifted from merely informing consumers via advertising and public relations to a focus on what happens once a patient steps through the doors.

“How does it feel to be inside of this institution? Who greeted you? How easy was it to get around?”

As part of this, Bachenheimer cited the company’s RSG Arrive program, which provides clinical trial patient travel coordination “and is as much about building relationships as it is about getting someone from here to there,” she said.

“From signing up for the program to getting in the car or plane the people involved are vetted and trained and making a strong contribution toward enhancing the patient’s experience.”

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