5 Tips to Improve Clinical Trials Patient Retention

How to Improve Clinical Trials Patient Retention?

According to research studies, patient-focused clinical trials are successful in recruiting the required number of patients in almost half the duration of other trials.

In contrast, only around 44% of medical professionals believe their company will adopt patient-focused clinical trial protocols.

Apart from this, there is a strong link between patient recruitment and patient retention. Usually, a clinical trial extends recruitment by nearly 71%, costing the sponsors millions of dollars.

Patient dropout reasons include adverse events, personal obligations, and lack of perceived benefit.

To help you understand the importance of patient retention, we have outlined several tips for clinical trials of patient retention.

Importance of Clinical Trials Patient Retention

The cost of developing a new drug can exceed $2.5 billion, accounting for direct costs and opportunity costs. This reflects the significant investment needed for pharmaceutical development.

Ensuring patient retention is a critical challenge in clinical trials, affecting study timelines, outcomes, and costs.

However, clinical research today needs to concentrate more on patient support to ensure ample patient retention rates. This will also ensure the overall success of the clinical trial.

Participants in clinical trials need to feel cared for. They expect to be treated as individuals. Thus, clinical trial organizers must let go of the conventional one-size-fits-all mindset, which makes the participant feel undervalued.

As the world changes, so do people’s expectations. Potential participants can now access in-depth information and details of clinical trials through social media and online forums dedicated to clinical trial participation.

This has resulted in various Patient Advocacy Groups (PAGs) popping up around the industry.

Top Tips for Clinical Trials Patient Retention

Now that the medical industry and trial sponsors are more aware of reasons why patients drop out of clinical trials midway let’s take a look at some of the tips that can help improve clinical trials patient retention rate:

1 – Work in sync with patients and advocacy groups

Enhancing patient awareness about their rights and responsibilities is crucial for informed consent and participation satisfaction. Numerous approaches can help foster better patient relationships and improve trial planning effectively.

PAGs are increasing every day, advocating upholding the rights of patients participating in clinical trials.

This is a great opportunity for sponsors to form stronger relationships with PAGs and collaborate to remedy frequently-faced patient problems.

This way, you can effectively improve patient retention during the clinical trial.

2 – Acknowledge patient problems

It is not always easy to measure patient sentiments. At times, even the patients are unsure how they feel.

However, using data-collection technology based on patient emotions makes it easier to monitor patients’ emotional shifts. This is effective in resolving issues promptly for the patient.

Monitoring patient sentiment helps predict it, too, which is helpful for identifying and preventing factors that cause patient loss during clinical trials.

3 – Enhance convenience and efficiency

There are several ways where you can improve convenience for the patients. For instance, giving patients control over their expense management, reimbursement, travel and accommodation arrangements helps to tailor the trial to be of utmost convenience.

This is an important key to ensuring sufficient patient retention during clinical trials.

Some additional services that help enhance convenience and efficiency for patients participating in clinical trials include home health services, translational services, personalized travel services and maximum use of mobile technology.

4 – Stronger and more effective communication with patients

Concise, patient-centric communication is extremely crucial for patient retention. To do this, we need to cultivate optimal communication that helps build trust and initially develops comfort for patients.

It is essential to know the patient to provide the essential but important facilities and services.

Listening to the patients’ problems and advising and counseling patients are excellent ways to develop an effective patient-centric communication model for clinical trials.

5 – Using new technology to the full

New, innovative technology offers incredible advantages and opportunities to improve patient retention during clinical trials.

Advancements in technology facilitate remote data collection and analysis, improving study efficiency and patient engagement.

This way, you can shape patient expectations faster and more efficiently.


Clinical trial patient retention is one of the biggest concerns for trial sponsors today. However, with the help of the tips mentioned above, you can now ensure optimal clinical trial patient retention.

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Current Version
April 1, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.
November 23, 2021
Written By
Shubham Grover

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