An often quoted analogy for recruitment into clinical trials is that of the ‘leaky pipe’. In this analogy potential participants drop out of the recruitment funnel at every stage in the process from identification, pre-screening, consenting, screening, randomisation and trial completion.
Research in 2020  showed that of 100 participants identified for pre-screening, only 8 will be randomized, and only 7 will complete the trial. Given that a recent review with the Medable Patient Champion Network (PCN) highlighted that the paper consent process was often considered as ‘intimidating’, the fact that up to 80%  of potential participants are lost during the consent process is not surprising. Metrics such as these highlight the importance of being able to provide a potential participant with the details of a clinical trial in a manner that both engages and educates them. This helps ensure that their very first experience with the trial, and at times the research facility, sets the tone for a positive trial experience.
Once enrolled into a clinical trial, the process of educating a participant and ensuring the consent form is understood, has a direct impact on their retention. Research from CISCRP  showed that 35% of participants that dropped out early from a clinical trial found the consent form difficult to understand, compared to only 16% of participants that completed their clinical trial.