By far the most effective means of retaining study participants is by treating each and every one with care and
respect and affording them the importance that they deserve as study volunteers. There are few people who do
not react positively when someone shows genuine concern and respect for them. If study volunteers know that
they are not only important to the success of a study but to the Center and all of its staff also, and if they genuinely
enjoy their visits to the center, then they are far more likely to complete a study even if they do not see any results.
All of our staff from the CRCs to the support personnel know how important it is that we create positive
relationships with all our volunteers. Admittedly it also helps to have a staff of personable professionals who
naturally illicit respect and confidence from study participants.
It is also very important to be selective when screening potential study subjects. It requires more than just meeting
all of the inclusion and exclusion criteria to be accepted into a study. Each CRC, PI or Sub-investigator must also
use their professional judgment when screening a subject to determine if they are a good study candidate. We
look for those potential subjects who will take the study, and their role in the study, seriously and with respect.
These are the types of people who will commit to finish a study.
We also feel that it is very important that our volunteers be compensated for their time and travel. Stipends are not
excessive but they do help cover some of the out-of-pocket cost of transportation, lost work time, and
Since we are not working with “patients” but volunteers we must also be flexible with our scheduling. Many of our
volunteers have inflexible work schedules or events in their lives that we must adjust to. If that means occasionally
being here for a subject visit at 6:00 AM or 7:00 PM, or making time on a Saturday or Sunday to see one of our
study participants, we do. People recognize and appreciate the extra effort we make to accommodate their
schedules and those are volunteers that typically show their appreciation by completing their study.