Outcomes from recent International Clinical Trials Workshops

ASCO International Affairs
Aug 02, 2017 12:33 PM

ASCO recently partnered with local organizers to conduct International Clinical Trials Workshops in Uruguay and Greece.

The first course was held in partnership with the Federación Latinoamericana de Sociedades de Cancerología (FLASCA) in Montevideo, Uruguay in March.

The responses to the on-site evaluation suggest the course was successful in meeting the behavioral objective. Eighty-five percent of respondents said that they intend to make practice changes based on what they learned in the course. As the majority of respondents to the evaluation said that they spend one quarter or less of their time working in clinical research, the most frequent intended changes were participating in research and more careful evaluation of the literature.

The results for the educational objectives were mixed. Most participants agreed they better understood several topics after the course:

  • 78% of respondents agreed that they better understand the principles of patient safety, regulatory issues, and ethical principles of clinical research
  • 75% agreed that they better understand the roles and responsibilities of members of the research team
  • 71% agreed that they better understand global standards for gathering and reporting data

However, only 43% of respondents agreed that they feel more confident in their ability to publish research findings, and only 35% agreed that they felt more confident in their ability to write a protocol. Approximately half of respondents neither agreed nor disagreed with these objectives. This could be due to the number of participants who spend little to no practice time working in clinical research; if participants have no results to publish or protocols to design, they might not feel better able to perform these tasks after attending the workshop.

The second workshop was held in partnership with the Hellenic Society of Medical Oncology in Athens, Greece in May.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents to the on-site evaluation said that they intend to make practice changes based on what they learned. These changes include more critical evaluation of literature, promoting clinical trials to patients and/or colleagues, and better eCRF management.

The results for the educational objectives were mixed, similarly to the results in the Uruguay workshop. Most participants agreed they better understood several topics after the course:

  • 91% of respondents agreed that they better understand regulatory issues and ethical principles of clinical research
  • 82% agreed that they better udnerstand the global standards for gathering and reporting data and principles of patient safety
  • 79% agreed that they better understand roles and responsibilities of members of the research team

Only 36% of respondents agreed that they feel more confident in their ability to publish research findings and their ability to write a protocol. Approximately half of respondents neither agreed nor disagreed with these objectives. This could be due to lack of experience in research, or providing a supportive rather than investigative role in research. While nearly half of respondents said that they spend more than half of their time working on clinical research, respondents who selected neutral were more likely to report that they had not had previous experience in clinical research. In addition, one-third of neutral respondents listed their profession as data manager, research assistant, or study coordinator.

Impact assessments will be conducted in 2018 to assess the long-term outcomes for each of these courses.