Guiding the rational design of patient-centred drug trials in Cystic Fibrosis: A Delphi study

R. Dobra*, J.S. Elborn, S. Madge, L. Allen, M. Boeri, F. Kee, S. Goundry, T. Purcell, C. Saunders, J.C. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Making trials more patient-centred improves recruitment and retention, patient satisfaction and makes research accessible to a more representative population. We aimed to understand the factors that influence participation and engagement in clinical trials in cystic fibrosis (CF) trials to guide the rational design and delivery of patient-centred trials.

We used a Delphi process, supported by extensive literature review and 3 workshops, to determine which factors stakeholders think exert significant influence in participation and engagement in CF trials. Panellists were recruited from across the UK and the study was administered online.

We had representation from 19 CF centres; 28 people with CF (pwCF), 26 parents and 30 healthcare professionals (HCPs). Panels were presented with a shortlist of 104 factors and asked which they thought influence participation and engagement in CF trials. After 3 iterations, 43 statements met consensus for pwCF, 48 for the parents and 69 for the HCPs.

We identified many targets to make trials more patient-centred. Whilst some require an overhaul of trial delivery, many are relatively easy to implement. We outline a list of ‘dos and don'ts’ for sponsors and research teams including: focus on good communication; recognise that lack of time is the greatest barrier to trial participation so minimise the frequency and length of visits; help participants fit trials around busy lives; remember trial participation can be a major life-event and support participants accordingly; and don't underestimate the impact of simple strategies e.g. on-site access to Wifi and cups of tea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-993
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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