Clinical research, and in particular, clinical trials represent the core focus of research activity with randomised controlled trials (RCT) the gold-standard method for evaluating intervention. Several factors contribute to the success or failure of a clinical trial including clinical applicability, obstacles to clinician and patient involvement, study design, analysis etc. People with RMD are motivated to participate in clinical studies for several reasons including the opportunity of receiving state of the art management, greater attention from health professionals and a strong sense of altruism. Nevertheless, poor recruitment is recognised as a major contributor to study failure. There are a variety of factors that may contribute to this, of which effective communication and publicising of clinical trials to people with RMD is a crucial factor. Adopting more pro-active approaches such as direct advertisement to patients may improve recruitment and bring the additional benefit of raising the profile of RMD research. Such an approach however may introduce distinct ethical issues and might also impact on the efficient delivery of the trial objectives. How best to engage people with RMD is an area that needs further attention and wider discussion. This lecture will discuss the issues around better engagement of people with RMD in clinical trials and discuss whether there is a need for guidelines to ensure a more broadly applicable standard for future trials.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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