Background/objectives In healthcare research investigating complex interventions, gaps in understanding of processes can be filled by using qualitative methods alongside a quantitative approach. The aim of this mixed-methods pilot trial was to provide feasibility evidence comparing two treatment regimens for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) to inform a future large-scale randomised controlled trial (RCT). Subjects/methods Forty-four treatment-naïve nAMD patients were followed over 24 months and randomised to one of two treatment regimens: standard care (SC) or treat and extend (T&E). The primary objective evaluated feasibility of the MATE trial via evaluations of screening logs for recruitment rates, nonparticipation and screen fails, whilst qualitative in-depth interviews with key study staff evaluated the recruitment phase and running of the trial. The secondary objective assessed changes in visual acuity and central retinal thickness (CRT) between the two treatment arms. Results The overall recruitment rate was 3.07 participants per month with a 40.8% non-participation rate, 18.51% screen-failure rate and 15% withdrawal/non-completion rate. Key themes in the recruitment phase included human factors, protocol-related issues, recruitment processes and challenges. Both treatment regimens showed a trend towards a visual acuity gain at month 12 which was not maintained at month 24, whilst CRT reduced similarly in both regimens over the same time period. These were achieved with one less treatment following a T&E regimen. Conclusion This mixed-methodology, pilot RCT achieved its pre-defined recruitment, nonparticipation and screen failure rates, thus deeming it a success. With some minor protocol amendments, progression to a large-scale RCT will be achievable.



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Pilot and Feasibility Studies





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Peninsula Medical School