Background: Recruitment and retention of participants in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease (PD) is challenging. A qualitative study embedded in the PD STAT multi-centre randomised controlled trial of simvastatin for neuroprotection in PD explored the motivators, barriers and challenges of participants, care partners and research staff. Objective: To outline a set of considerations informing a patient-centred approach to trial recruitment, retention, and delivery. Method: We performed semi-structured interviews and focus groups with a subset of trial participants and their care partners. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained through surveys circulated among the 235 participants across 23 UK sites at the beginning, middle and end of the 2-year trial. We also interviewed and surveyed research staff at trial closure. Results: Twenty-seven people with PD, 6 care partners and 9 researchers participated in interviews and focus groups. A total of 463 trial participant survey datasets were obtained across three timepoints, and 53 staff survey datasets at trial closure. Trial participants discussed the physical and psychological challenges they faced, especially in the context of OFF state assessments, relationships, and communication with research staff. Care partners shared their insights into OFF state challenges, and the value of being heard by research teams. Research staff echoed many concerns with suggestions on flexible, person-centred approaches to maximising convenience, comfort, and privacy. Conclusion: These considerations, in favour of person-centred research protocols informed by the variable needs of participants, care partners and staff, could be developed into a set of recommendations for future trials.



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Journal of Parkinson's Disease

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Peninsula Medical School