Retention Best Practices
Strategies for Successful Retention of Minorities and Women
- Understand Your Participants
- Understand your participants; ask how you can better support them.
- This may include visit planning, reminders, telephone calls to patients between visits, research staff availability and responsiveness, or convenient timing of appointments.
- Reach Out to Participants
- Regular contact with study participants can improve retention.
- Providing a toll-free phone number for participants can be a useful tool to improve research staff availability and accessibility.
- Provide Reimbursements
- Returning to a study site to participate in a clinical trial may be difficult and time-consuming for study participants.
- Providing reimbursements can help to ensure retention.
- Overcome Transportation Barriers
- Providing free transportation to and from the research site or compensation for expenses related to participation may effectively increase retention.
- Promote Convenience
- Providing evening and weekend hours, child care services, and transportation vouchers can make participation more convenient for some participants.
- Appreciate Investment of Time and Effort
- Verbal recognition of effort, participation certificates, and letters of gratitude are all ways to show study participants how much they are valued.
- Provide appreciation items. They can include calendars, thank you notes, birthday cards, meal vouchers or bags with the study logo.