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An Ounce of Prevention: Rationale and Design for a Pre-Randomization Discussion to Strengthen Adherence and Retention.

Poster presented at the CTN Steering Committee Meeting, Bethesda, MD, March 13-15, 2013.

Thomas F. Northrup, PhD, Angela L. Stotts, PhD, Diane Warden, PhD, MBA, N. Robrina Walker, PhD, Tracy L. Greer, PhD, Chad Rethorst, PhD, Amber Thomas-Gordon, Swetha Mulpur, Madhukar H. Trivedi, MD (all from University of Texas, TX Node).

High retention rates are critical for successful clinical trials, but participants in clinical research on stimulant abuse have demonstrated variable attendance at intervention and research visits. This poster reports on an innovative recruitment technique used by study staff in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network protocol CTN-0037 (Stimulant Reduction Intervention Using Dose Exercise (STRIDE)) to address some of the reasons for decreased attendance and barriers to retention before they become an issue for study participants. Nicknamed the "Fireside Chat," the STRIDE approach used a series of "warm, supportive" questions to open a conversation with potential study participants, with the aim of helping them make an informed decision in a relatively short amount of time whether or not to join the study. Questions in the "chat" focused on willingness to commit, importance of the research question to the participant, understanding the requirements of participation, specific barriers to attendance, clarification of the study interventions/condition preference, and relapse potential.

Anecdotally, one site noted retention improvements after the Fireside Chat was implemented, and participants often expressed appreciation for taking part in the Chat. Though improvements cannot be solely attributed to the technique, research team members reported that being able to refer back to the Fireside Chat with participants helped them more openly discuss barriers to continued study participation. Clinical research with ongoing participant contact should consider tailoring this approach to increase retention. Future investigation with this approach is advised. (Poster, PDF, English, 2013)

Keywords: Community health services | Exercise | Participant information | Recruitment | Retention - Research | CTN Steering Committee meeting, March 2013

Document No: 968

Submitted by Thomas Northrup, PhD, TX Node.


Greer, Tracy L. mail
Mulpur, Swetha
Northrup, Thomas F. mail
Rethorst, Chad
Stotts, Angela L. mail
Thomas-Gordon, Amber
Trivedi, Madhukar H. search mail
Walker, N. Robrina mail
Warden, Diane mail
NIDA-CTN-0037 www
Texas (Lead) www
Delaware Valley www
Florida Node Alliance www
Greater New York www
Ohio Valley www
Southern Consortium www

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
Updated 3/2013 --
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