Clinical trial recruitment challenges with older adults with cancer

Appl Nurs Res. 2010 Nov;23(4):233-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2008.12.004. Epub 2009 Jun 30.


Older adults continue to be disproportionately represented in research studies and cancer-related clinical trials. As survival rates for patients with cancer continue to increase, it is critical that we begin to gather data on how to provide the best care to the patient population where cancer is most prevalent. The purpose of this article was to provide an overview of barriers encountered during recruitment to clinical trials of older patients with cancer. Two clinical trials involving older patients with cancer are presented to describe strategies used by the principal investigators to enhance recruitment and enrollment to their clinical research trials. These two exemplars suggest that planning and regular meetings by the research team and transparent communication are essential for successful clinical trial recruitment of older patients with cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Research Design
  • Trust