How we recruit
Synexus recruits patients from the local area surrounding each Synexus Clinical Research Centre using a variety of recruitment methods.
- Identification of patients through local GP practices
- Synexus' own customer database
- Press advertisements
- Direct mailshots
- Radio advertisements
- Leaflet drops
- Internet advertisements
- Identifying patients via self-help organisations
In each case the recruitment materials ask potential patients to respond directly to Synexus. Patients who respond are given further information about the study as requested and their eligibility is ascertained via a brief telephone screening questionnaire. If eligible the patient is invited to attend a pre-screening ‘chat' at a Synexus centre. Following this appointment the patient will be screened for the study if they wish to participate.
As a clinical research Site Management Organisation (SMO) Synexus Clinical Research Plc does not provide routine care to patients and does not hold the patient's medical notes. Therefore, where required, Synexus verifies the patient's medical history with their GP prior to enrolment. The patient is asked to sign a letter giving their GP permission to release their medical information to Synexus. Synexus asks the GP to complete a medical history form and pays the GP a fee upon completion to cover time and administrative costs.
GP Mailshots: identifying patients through local GP practices
General Practitioners who are local to Synexus Clinical Research centres work with their local Clinical Relations Specialist to identify registered patients who broadly meet the entry criteria for an MREC approved study.
Step One: You search your database for appropriate patients. These are generally basic searches, primarily on gender, age and health condition.
Step Two: Your patients are sent an ethically approved letter introducing them to the study and asking them to contact us should they be interested.
Step Three: Patients contact Synexus directly (not yourselves). They can do this via phone call, email or they can complete and return a reply slip.
MREC approved advertisements are placed in national press or local newspapers around Synexus Clinical Research Centres. Interested patients respond directly to Synexus by phone, e-mail or by returning a tear-off slip to the Synexus contact centre's freepost address.
Marketing Database Direct Mailshots
An MREC approved mailer is sent to persons identified from commercially available marketing databases. These databases hold records of people who have previously responded to marketing surveys and who have agreed to their name and address being passed to other companies. The marketing surveys from which the data is obtained vary in format and content but usually ask about a number of lifestyle, health and home issues, enabling Synexus to effectively target potential trial subjects. The surveys have often been posted to large numbers of homes or have been included in the packaging of household items.
Wherever possible Synexus targets people on these databases who have confirmed that they suffer from the indication under study. Where this is not possible (i.e. no survey data exists which collects details of the indication under study) the mailers are targeted more generally using the inclusion / exclusion criteria and prevalence information for the condition under study e.g. age and sex.
Synexus contracts a marketing agency to obtain suitable data and to print names and addresses onto the MREC approved mailers. The data is not released to Synexus and further contact is only made with patients who choose to respond to Synexus.
National/local radio stations around Synexus Clinical Research Centres broadcast an advertisement produced from an MREC approved radio script. Interested patients respond directly to the Synexus contact centre.
Advertisements are enlarged into a poster format, and are displayed in various areas around Synexus Clinical Research Centres and surrounding location. Areas would normally include GP practices, notice boards of large local employers and targeted outdoor advertising locations in the area around the Synexus Clinical Research Centres. Interested patients respond directly to the Synexus Clinical Research Centres.
Leaflets are printed from the MREC approved advertising material and are distributed via newspapers, in various areas around Synexus Clinical Research Centres. Using the leaflet inserts allows precise targeting capabilities within the areas with a high concentration of the demographic most affected by the indication under study. Interested patients respond directly to the Synexus Clinical Research Centres.
MREC approved advertisements are placed on appropriate internet sites with details of the location of the Synexus centres where the research is being conducted. Interested patients respond directly to the Synexus Clinical Research Centres.
Identifying patients via self-help organisations, health clinics and community centres.
Synexus contacts self-help organisations, health clinics and community centres linked to the therapeutic area under study. The self-help group/clinic/centre is given an overview of Synexus and current clinical research relevant to their group. They are asked if they are willing to contact their members on behalf of Synexus.
If willing to do so the organisation contacts its members, either via mention of the study in their own newsletter or separately using MREC approved advertising materials provided by Synexus. Synexus covers the additional administration and postage costs incurred by the mailing. Interested members respond directly to the Synexus Clinical Research Centres.
Where appropriate and possible to do so a member of Synexus staff (e.g. a research nurse) will also visit a meeting of the self-help group. At the meeting the Synexus staff member will give general information about Synexus and current research and will distribute MREC approved advertising.