New technologies address barriers to clinical trial enrollment

The use of tailored, web-based videos delivering educational information before an oncologist visit can significantly improve knowledge and reduce attitudinal barriers that impact enrollment in clinical trials, according to one new study. A second study found that a new automated technology helped oncologists identify clinical trials for individual patients in a busy outpatient oncology clinic.

These studies, both by researchers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Seidman Cancer Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, were presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held in Chicago, Illinois from May 31 to June 4.

One trial examined the use of PRE-ACT, which stands for Preparatory Education About Clinical Trials. It is a tailored, interactive, web-based intervention to address patient barriers and improve preparation for considering clinical trials as a treatment option.

The prospective, randomized, multicenter, Phase 3 clinical trial evaluated 1,255 patients and utilized baseline assessments to determine their top clinical trial barriers. Patients in the PRE-ACT group were presented with a video library of 30- to 90-second clips that addressed their individual barriers, as indicated by their assessment results. Patients in the control group received online, text-based information that wasn't tailored to their individual barriers. A follow-up survey was conducted to reassess patient knowledge and attitudes.

Results showed that PRE-ACT significantly improved patient understanding and attitudes towards clinical trials when viewed before a visit to an oncologist. The control group also had improved knowledge, reduced attitudinal barriers and improved preparation, but the PRE-ACT group was more satisfied with the amount and format of information presented to them and felt more prepared to consider enrollment in clinical trials when compared to patients who received written information.

The second trial examined the use of Trial Prospector, which is an automated, HIPAA-compliant program that matches patients to clinical trials based on information extracted from their electronic medical records. Pilot testing occurred in a GI oncology subspecialty clinic, and 11 oncologists completed surveys after each patient visit to assess the usability and impact to Trial Prospector.

The Trial Prospector matching algorithm was 100% accurate and saved time in identifying potential clinical trials. The physicians found it easy to use, and 90.9% would recommend its use for clinical trial eligibility screening.
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