Participant Perceptions in a Long-term Clinical Trial of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

Sneha Amin, Irene Sangadi, Margaret Allman-Farinelli, Sunil V. Badve, Neil Boudville, Helen Coolican, Susan Coulshed, Sheryl Foster, Mangalee Fernando, Imad Haloob, David C.H. Harris, Carmel M. Hawley, Jane Holt, Martin Howell, Karthik Kumar, David W. Johnson, Vincent W. Lee, Jun Mai, Anna Rangan, Simon D. RogerKamal Sud, Vicente Torres, Eswari Vilayur, Gopala K. Rangan

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Rationale & Objective: The development of new therapies for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease requires clinical trials to be conducted efficiently. In this study, the factors affecting the recruitment and retention of participants enrolled in a 3-year randomized controlled trial in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease were investigated. Study Design: Qualitative study. Setting & Participants: All participants (N=187) were invited to complete a 16-item questionnaire at the final study visit of the primary trial. Participants were recruited to complete a semistructured interview using purposeful sampling according to age, self-reported gender, and randomization group. Analytical Approach: Descriptive statistics were used for demographic data and questionnaires. The interview transcripts underwent inductive thematic coding. Results: One hundred and forty-six of the 187 randomized participants (79%) completed the post-trial questionnaire, and 31 of the 187 participants (21%) completed the interview. Most participants (94%) rated their global satisfaction with the trial as high (a score of 8 or more out of 10). Altruism, knowledge gain, and access to new treatments were the main motivators for recruitment. The main reasons for considering leaving the study were concerns about the risk of intervention and family or work issues. Strategies that favored retention included flexibility in attending different study sites, schedule flexibility, staff interactions, and practical support with parking and reminders. The main burden was time away from work with lost wages, and burden associated with magnetic resonance imaging scans and 24-hour urine output collections. Limitations: The study population was restricted to participants in a single nondrug clinical trial, and the results could be influenced by selection and possible social desirability bias. Conclusions: Participants reported high levels of satisfaction that occurred as a function of the trial meeting participants’ expectations. Furthermore, retention was a balance between the perceived benefits and burden of participation. Consideration of these perspectives in the design of future clinical trials will improve their efficiency and conduct. Plain-Language Summary: Advances in the clinical practice of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) require affected individuals to voluntarily participate in long-term multicenter randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In this qualitative post hoc study of a 3-year RCT of increased water intake in ADPKD, altruism, knowledge gain, and access to a nondrug treatment positively influenced the decision to volunteer. Ongoing participation was enabled by building flexibility into the study protocol and staff prioritizing a participant's needs during study visits. Although participants completed the required tests, most were considered burdensome. This study highlights the importance of incorporating protocol flexibility into trial design; the preference for interventions with a low risk of adverse effects; and the urgent requirement for robust surrogate noninvasive biomarkers to enable shorter RCTs in ADPKD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100691
Number of pages10
JournalKidney Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

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