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Clin Transl Sci ; 15(4): 831-837, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583606


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) remain the gold standard to evaluate clinical interventions, producing the highest level of evidence while minimizing potential bias. Inadequate recruitment is a commonly encountered problem that undermines the completion and generalizability of RCTs-and is even more challenging when enrolling amidst a pandemic. Here, we reflect on our experiences with virtual recruitment of non-hospitalized patients in the United States for ColCorona, an international, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) drug trial. Recruitment challenges during a pandemic include constraints created by shelter-in-place policies and targeting enrollment according to national and local fluctuations in infection rate. Presenting a study to potential participants who are sick with COVID-19 and may be frightened, overwhelmed, or mistrusting of clinical research remains a challenge. Strategies previously reported to improve recruitment include transparency, patient and site education, financial incentives, and person-to-person outreach. Active measures taken during ColCorona to optimize United States recruitment involved rapid expansion of sites, adjustment of recruitment scripts, assessing telephone calls versus text messages for initial contact with participants, institutional review board-approved financial compensation, creating an infrastructure to systematically identify potentially eligible patients, partnering with testing sites, appealing to both self-interest and altruism, and large-scale media efforts with varying degrees of success.

COVID-19 , Text Messaging , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
J Health Commun ; 25(10): 780-789, 2020 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236153


The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of clinical trials for finding a safe and effective vaccine to protect against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19. Although communication about vaccines and vaccine hesitancy were challenges long before COVID-19, the twin facts of a pandemic and an "infodemic" of health information, misinformation, and disinformation have raised new challenges for vaccine-related communication and decision-making. The goal of this commentary is to highlight strategies to improve communication and decision-making for adults considering participation in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. First, I present a general conceptual model for clinical trial participation that can be applied to various vaccine and other clinical trial contexts. Next, I introduce the ASK (Assume, Seek, Know) approach for enhancing clinical trial participation: (1) assume that all patients will want to know their options, (2) seek the counsel of stakeholders, and (3) know your numbers. The ideas presented in this commentary are intended to enhance vaccine-specific clinical trial communication, decision-making, and literacy, while dually offering strategies and resources that may help reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccine uptake over time.

COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Decision Making , Health Communication/methods , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Research Subjects/psychology , Adult , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Literacy , Humans , Intention , Patient Selection , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/psychology