Local QL coordinator

The importance ofidentifying an individual at each centre to act as a local QL coordinator cannot be overestimated. This person will need to:

♦ explain to new patients the rationale behind QL questionnaires,

♦ identify patients when they come into clinic,

♦ hand out questionnaires,

♦ make sure patients have somewhere quiet to sit and complete the questionnaire before seeing the clinician,

♦ collect and check the questionnaire, making sure that any missing items are completed immediately, and return it to the office co-ordinating the trial.

The person responsible for administering questionnaires in the local centre needs to be committed to the importance of collecting QL. Some patients will often be reluctant to complete sometimes long, often difficult, questionnaires that may contain many seemingly irrelevant and sometimes very personal questions. The patient must be convinced that far from being a burden the questionnaire is an essential component ofthe research. If the rationale is carefully explained to the patients, research has shown that far from patients feeling burdened by the need to complete questionnaires, they actually gain fulfilment from completing them. Indeed the patient themselves can be motivated to remind staff when questionnaires are required.

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