Study Issues

Accrual Terminology and Metrics

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2012

Originally posted by: Ellen Richmond, AccrualNet Co-Moderator, on the former AccrualNet site on Jul 01, 2010.

One important unmet need of the clinical trials recruitment community is the lack of a common language for describing and studying clinical trial accrual. For example, a term that is commonly used but is not well-defined is “number of patients screened”. Does it include individuals whose charts have been reviewed for eligibility? Oncology patients listed on an O.R schedule? Those who call in response to a promotion or to inquire about a specific trial? Or is it limited to those who sign consent to undergo specific qualifying procedures? Standardized terminology is sorely needed to provide meaningful data to predict whether or not a study is feasible, where it can be done, how long it will take to complete, how much staffing is needed, budget projections, number of sites needed, site performance and much more. A group of Canadian researchers* recently proposed some terms for standardization of patient accrual metrics. (See Hagen article abstraction on AccrualNet.) Does anyone else have defined terms for accrual planning and evaluation that they would like to share?


*Hagen NA, Wu JS, Stiles CR. A Proposed Taxonomy of Terms to Guide the Clinical Trial Recruitment Process. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010 May 19

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