Background: Adequate participant recruitment is vital to the conduct of a clinical trial. Projected recruitment rates are often over-estimated, and the time to recruit the target population (accrual period) is often under-estimated. Methods: This report illustrates three approaches to estimating the accrual period and applies the methods to a multi-center, randomized, placebo controlled trial undergoing development. Results: Incorporating known sources of accrual variation can yield a more justified estimate of the accrual period. Simulation studies can be incorporated into a clinical trial's planning phase to provide estimates for key accrual summaries including the mean and standard deviation of the accrual period. Conclusion: The accrual period of a clinical trial should be carefully considered, and the allocation of sufficient time for participant recruitment is a fundamental aspect of planning a clinical trial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics