The VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research (VCU Wright CCTR) hosted the second in its five-part Fall Brown Bag Lunch seminar series. Attendees were encouraged to bring their lunch and learn about best practices for clinical trial recruitment in a presentation led by Kimberly Bradley, EMT, CCRP, manager of the coordinator pool for the CCTR’s Clinical Research Services (CRS), and Mary Madu, CCRC, advanced research coordinator for the CRS.
“People need to be invested in their own care before others can invest in them,” Madu said. “I try to be a support and source of education for folks so they can make informed decisions about their health and participation. Clinical trials have the opportunity to be a fun and really positive experience for all parties involved once participants are invested in themselves and they see that I am invested in them and the work that I do.”
In addition to sharing their own best practices in clinical trial recruitment, Madu and Bradley discussed the various free resources available at VCU, including StudyFinder, ResearchMatch, and the VCU Clinical Trials Facebook page.
“Exposure is an opportunity to educate,” Bradley said. “The more potential participants hear and learn about clinical trials, the more they’ll feel comfortable with the idea of participating. I always go back to the importance of education, whether that’s at the level of a participant, coordinator, or study team… Everyone can benefit from education.”
The discussion of consent as a form of empowerment for participants was also discussed at length. For those suffering from a serious disease or illness, oftentimes they may feel as if they don’t have a choice in the care they receive or decisions that are made. It is the responsibility of the study team to stress that participating in a clinical trial is a choice that participants make for themselves.
“I consider my study participants to be invited guests and I treat them as such,” Madu said. “I want them to know that there is tremendous value in participating in a clinical trial, but that they have the power to remove themselves from it at any time. It’s important to me that they have a positive experience because I want them to know that I believe their time is valuable and they are valuable.”
To learn more about the VCU Wright CCTR’s Clinical Research Services, visit www.cctr.vcu.edu/clinicalresearch.