[Project summary in Français / Português]
Scientific title: Strategies for optimizing the accurate elicitation of patient-reported data relating to drug safety
This project found that different ways of questioning trial participants about their health and use of other medications influenced the collection of important drug safety information. The trial context also appeared to be important, explaining differences in how barriers to reporting manifested between the trial sites. In a paper published in BMC Medical Research Methodology we suggest there should be further work to investigate these influences and find appropriate questioning approaches within antimalarial drug trials. Our online global survey of malaria researchers about the ways their participants are typically questioned, and how reports are assessed, showed that various methods are being used. A paper published in the Malaria Journal suggested that these differences could influence trial results. A Cochrane systematic review revealed over 30 studies demonstrating that more detailed questioning increases the sensitivity of AE detection. However, the impact of different questioning methods on the nature of AEs detected is unclear. A Delphi study achieved consensus for potentially harmonising various methods for eliciting subjective AEs and concomitant non-study medications in uncomplicated malaria drug trials.
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During clinical trials, research teams use various information that participants tell them. These include the occurrence of new, possibly harmful or unpredicted side effects (known as adverse events or adverse drug reactions), the patients’ medical history and which other medicines they are taking.
Researchers are concerned that the way participants are questioned can influence what information they report, and therefore prevent an accurate assessment of the safety of the drugs used in clinical trials. However, the current scientific literature doesn't include a standard method to best carry out the questioning or how the information is then assessed.
We nested a study within the SEACAT and InterACT trials to investigate different ways of questioning trial participants about their health and use of other medications in antimalarial trials.
The questioning methods and the different trial contexts did appear to influence the collection of these important contributions to drug safety assessments. Consequently, there should be further work to investigate these influences and find appropriate questioning methods.
To contribute to this topic further we conducted an online global survey of malaria researchers about the ways they question their participants about this information, and assess the results. The survey showed that various methods are being used, which could influence trial results. The best way for obtaining safety information from participants is unclear, therefore we propose that anti-malarial clinical researchers work towards consensus about the design of optimal methods.
This study also conducts a consensus-building process called a Delphi about these issues. This will be supported with results from a Cochrane systematic review of work in other diseases where different ways of questioning participants have been compared.
Elizabeth N Allen, Clare IR Chandler, Nyaradzo Mandimika, Cheryl Pace, Ushma Mehta and Karen I Barnes | Published
Elizabeth N Allen, Karen I Barnes, Adiel Mushi, Isolide Massawe, Sarah G Staedke, Ushma Mehta, Lasse S Vestergaard, Martha M Lemnge, Clare I Chandler | Published
Elizabeth N Allen, Adiel K Mushi, Isolide S Massawe, Lasse S Vestergaard, Martha Lemnge, Sarah G Staedke, Ushma Mehta, Karen I Barnes and Clare IR Chandler | Published
BMC Medical Research Methodology