Launching the trial and recruiting centres

In a multi-centre trial, once the protocol has been finalized and printed, the funding agreed and any necessary contracts signed, it is highly desirable that the trial management group launch the trial at a meeting to which all potential collaborators are invited. This meeting gives collaborators and members of the trial management group the opportunity to meet each other to publicize the opening ofthe trial, and to encourage the recruitment of centres. It also enables the trial management group to remind people of the importance of the trial and of key aspects of its design and conduct. All those attending the launch meeting should be encouraged to promote the trial among their colleagues and at relevant meetings, and it can be helpful to provide sets of slides or a PowerPoint presentation describing the trial for this purpose.

Centres that are likely to be interested in collaborating in the trial will have been identified during the planning and preparation of the proposal. It is quite likely that additional centres will also have been identified subsequently. It is highly desirable that the trial management group invite representatives from all these centres to the meeting. Any other potential collaborating centres should also be included.

A general problem with a large multi-centre trial is that collaborators can find it difficult to feel that they own it. A launch meeting can help to engender a sense of corporate endeavour in which the collaborating centres appreciate that their role is essential.

The format for a typical launch meeting is shown in Box 8.2.

The trial management group should then, if appropriate, start visiting centres and recruiting them. It is important to maintain the initial impetus and to recruit centres and establish a good rate of intake as rapidly as possible. A good rate of intake reassures centres that are already collaborating and encourages others to join.

If the trial management group already has a well-established group of centres collaborating in a programme of multi-centre trials, they will not necessarily need to

0 0

Post a comment