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New initiative to improve patient retention in paediatric clinical trials

The new programme will engage with children and young people under the age of 18 years.

Innovative Trials has announced a new initiative designed to boost clinical trial patient retention in paediatric studies, in partnership with the Oliver Patch Project, a US charity.

The Retention Patch Program is designed to engage directly with children and young people under the age of 18 years throughout their clinical trial experience.

Created to be commissioned for any paediatric study worldwide, previous research suggests that engagement methods are associated with greater retention rates in paediatric clinical research.

The new programme allows children and teenagers to collect several patches throughout their clinical trial experience that can be ironed onto clothing so they can be worn like badges.

Innovative Trials will fund the first patch for the programme – a colourful welcome patch that features the Retention Patch Program’s dragon mascot – which will be given to all paediatric patients, as well as a donation to the Oliver Patch Program.

Sponsors will be able to commission the programme to make further patches available to patients involved in their study, which will be delivered as retention items when they reach certain milestones throughout the study; only by remaining in the trial until the end can all patches be collected.

Kate Shaw, founder and chief executive officer of Innovative Trials commented: “Clinical trials involving children are important in transforming global child health.

“Our new Retention Patch Program aims to overcome this [retention] challenge in paediatric clinical trials, which is especially important given that there are far fewer studies involving children than adults.”

Shaw continued: “By keeping children and adolescents engaged throughout their clinical trials, we can reduce drop-out rates and help ensure groundbreaking treatments reach the people who need them most as quickly as possible” and will “help raise… public awareness of clinical research… so that others may be more inclined to participate in the future”.

Brian Burkhardt, co-founder of the Oliver Patch Project, said: “I’m thrilled that [the] Oliver Patch Project has the opportunity to support so many more children globally through our collaboration with Innovative Trials.”