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Patient Engagement Clinical Trials

Patient engagement and retention are critical to the success of clinical trials and medical research. With rising costs and growing complexity, it is more important than ever to ensure high levels of patient participation and minimize dropouts. Engaged and retained participants not only lead to more robust data, but also faster completion times and lower associated expenses. This article will discuss key considerations for improving patient engagement and retention in clinical research.

Patient Engagement Clinical Trials| eClinical Solutions| Patient Engagement Clinical Software

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Understanding Patient Engagement

Patient engagement clinical trials refers to the process of building trust, capturing insights, and acting on patient feedback at each stage of the clinical trial process. Engaged participants are actively involved, provide input, and collaborate with research teams. This leads to trials that are more participant-centric.

High levels of engagement have been linked to improved recruitment rates, faster enrollment, better protocol adherence, lower dropout rates, and higher-quality data. Engaged patients are also more likely to join future studies. That’s why sponsors and researchers are prioritizing engagement initiatives to drive trial success.

Key Considerations for Improving Patient Engagement in Clinical Trials

Here are some of the top factors to consider for boosting patient engagement for clinical trials:


Clear, consistent and patient-friendly communication is key. Participants should receive easy-to-understand updates at every step using their preferred contact methods. Avoid complex jargon.


Educating patients about the trial, disease condition, tests, procedures, and importance of adherence helps them feel more confident and engaged. Education materials should be visually engaging and written for various literacy levels.


Leveraging technology like apps, portals, and wearables to enable remote engagement makes participating easier and more convenient for patients. It also provides insight into health metrics.

Patient-Centric Approach

Design trials around patient needs and preferences. Seek ongoing feedback and be flexible to improve the participant experience. Customer-centricity boosts engagement.

Trust and Transparency

Build trust through transparency about the trial process, risks, benefits, rights, data sharing, and results. Honesty and openness are key to maintaining engagement.

Strategies for Enhancing Patient Retention in Clinical Research

While engagement gets patients enrolled, retention keeps them actively involved. Here are proven tactics for minimizing dropouts:

 Regular Follow-ups

Check in regularly to address any questions or concerns. Follow-ups show patients they matter. Assign staff to develop rapport with participants.


Offer reasonable incentives for completed visits and milestones. Incentives demonstrate appreciation for participation.

Supportive Environment

Make visits as quick, easy and pleasant as possible. Have empathetic staff provide encouragement and support. Build a comfort-oriented environment.

Patient Feedback

Solicit ongoing feedback on the participant experience, then improve pain points. This tailored approach boosts retention.

Case Studies

Telehealth startup Medici utilized targeted social media ads and 24/7 nurse support to drive high clinical trial engagement and retention for a COPD drug study. They enrolled 6 months ahead of schedule and reduced dropouts by 52%.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles created child-friendly education comic books explaining clinical trials. The materials drove 95% higher literacy rates among minor participants and improved engagement.


Optimizing patient engagement  for clinical research and retention requires a strategic, multi-pronged approach. Key elements include clear communication, comprehensive education, easy-to-use technology, patient-centricity, trust building and regular follow-up. Employing these best practices results in more successful trials and more actionable research data.

At Clinvigilant, our dedicated patient retention solutions help streamline site workflows for faster study completion. Our patient engagement apps and portals facilitate easy participation with built-in reminders and telehealth access. Contact us today to learn more about keeping patients engagement for clinical trials and minimizing dropouts.

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