We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Patient Recruitment?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Patient recruitment is the process of finding patients suitable for clinical trials, enrolling them, and retaining them throughout the trial. This is a very time consuming and complex task, especially in the case of a large clinical trial with significant participant risks or very specific criteria for enrollment. Researchers may miss deadlines or fail to enroll enough patients, and this could jeopardize the trial's success. Many research organizations turn to third party patient recruitment specialists to get their trial participants.

In patient recruitment, it is necessary to develop a profile of the ideal patient and determine how to reach such patients. Clinical trials have very strict participant requirements to control for variables. Patients with comorbidities that might throw off results, for example, are not suitable. The recruiter also has to think about the location and time frame of the trial, as these could pose a problem for patient recruitment as well. Some consultants can make recommendations for trial design changes that might address recruitment issues, like moving the site of a trial to make it more accessible.

The recruiter reaches out to care providers, patient organizations, and other potential sources of patients who may be interested in the trial. It provides detailed information patients can review to see if they are eligible. The material encourages patients to apply, and the next step in recruitment is patient screening. New enrollees usually need medical testing as well as interviews and careful review to see if they are good fits for the trial. Once a patient is accepted, the retention process begins.

Clinical trial participation can be difficult, and a major part of patient recruitment involves taking steps to reduce the risk of losing patients partway through the trial. This can include everything from providing financial assistance so patients can cover the expense of a caregiver to making arrangements to collect data at locations and times that are more convenient for the patient. Trial researchers may travel to patient homes, for instance, rather than asking patients to travel to the trial site.

There are considerable ethical concerns to weigh in patient recruitment. The trial wants the best patients possible for the research, but it also must make sure all patients are fully informed and consenting. If patients do not have the right information they might drop out later in the trial or the researchers could be legally liable for ethics violations. Recruiters need to think about issues like laws that restrict medical advertising in the process of developing a plan to locate and enroll patients.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.