Examining Barriers and Practices to Recruitment and Retention in Stroke Clinical Trials
Background and Purpose—The National Institutes of Health policy calls for the inclusion of under-represented groups, such as women and minorities, in clinical research. Poor minority recruitment and retention in stroke clinical trials remain a significant challenge limiting safety and efficacy in a general population. Previous research examines participant barriers to clinical trial involvement, but little is known about the investigator perspective. This study addresses this gap and examines researcher-reported barriers and best practices of minority involvement in stroke clinical trials.
Methods—Quantitative and qualitative methods, including surveys, focus groups, and key informant interviews were used.
Results—In a survey of 93 prominent stroke researchers, 43 (51.2%; 70% response rate) respondents reported proactively setting recruitment goals for minority inclusion, 29 respondents (36.3%) reported requiring cultural competency staff training, and 44 respondents (51.2%) reported using community consultation about trial design. Focus groups and key informant interviews highlighted structural and institutional challenges to recruitment of minorities, including mistrust of the research/medical enterprise, poor communication, and lack of understanding of clinical trials. Researcher-identified best practices included using standardized project management procedures and protocols (eg, realistic budgeting to support challenges in recruitment, such as travel/parking reimbursement for participants), research staff cultural competency and communication training, and developing and fostering community partnerships that guide the research process.
Conclusions—This study’s formative evaluation contributes a new dimension to the literature as it highlights researcher-reported barriers and best practices for enhancing participation of minority populations into stroke clinical trials.
- Received December 26, 2014.
- Revision received May 29, 2015.
- Accepted June 2, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.