For years, Sara worked in a hospital, making care possible for others. Now, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she was the one in need of care.
Trial design has long focused solely on the science of the study while neglecting the practicalities of patient access and engagement. From difficulties finding out about study opportunities, to the challenges of visiting inconveniently located facilities for testing, there are many ways studies fail to engage and retain possible participants.
At Parexel, we’ve pioneered several programs that reach and engage previously underrepresented populations, improve the trial experience for all participants, and yield better results for your trials.
To build better engagement strategies, we capture patient preferences, opinions, and voices on the study plan. We want to make sure the materials we provide resonate with them, so we have them review the study design to validate language, readability, and market message. With their insights, combined with our health literacy and inclusivity guidelines, we create accessible trial information for patients and their families that truly connects.
We also provide something we like to call compassionate closure to participants. In many studies, participants come in for their last visit, then never hear from the study again — feeling abandoned after having built relationships with the staff and gotten invested in the study outcome. So we thank them for their contributions, and keep them informed on the results of the study.
Incorporating diversity of race, ethnicity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and disability into our studies is a core part of how we do business. It’s part of our patients-first approach. Rather than waiting for problems to arise, we proactively recruit with diversity in mind and factor diversity into our RFPs and bid defenses.
To further improve the experience of patients business wide, we also run patient-focused groups. These include patient ambassadors, a patient partnership group that manages relationships with advocacy groups, and a global Patient Advisory Council that consists of patients and carers with various diseases and real-life experiences who provide feedback on any proposed tool or service. Their insights help us keep all our processes and protocols truly focused on the patients’ needs.