DESIGN: A 1-time focus group of research assistants was conducted.
SETTING: A chiropractic college in the United States during a national chiropractic research agenda conference.
SUBJECTS: Eight research assistants from 2 teaching institutions, who are directly involved in clinical trials and have patient-centered responsibilities, such as recruiting patients, interviewing patients, and collecting data.Main outcome measures Responses to predetermined questions were qualitatively compiled. Question topics included research assistants' experiences while administering phone screens, questionnaires, and informed consents.
RESULTS: Research assistants involved in this focus group expressed they were adequately trained in telephone screening and administering informed consent but felt they required more training in administering self-report questionnaires to patients. The majority of problems they encountered were related to a lack of information. To improve training of future RAs, more detailed study information is necessary, such as how to describe study treatments and how to give questionnaire instructions.
CONCLUSIONS: The comparability of responses by the members of this focus group was interesting. Members had similar experiences within clinical trials and found that the problems encountered were common across studies.
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