Warm, friendly, relaxing…. these are not the words we usually associate with medical clinics.  Instead, we are more likely to associate the words cold, impersonal, uncomfortable due to the white or beige walls, plastic or metal chairs, lino or stone floors.

So why would anyone want to volunteer their time to spend more time in or visiting these clinics for a clinical trial?

We came across this interesting article that talks about how the hospital environment can affect the patient experience and healing. While it does focus more on design features for hospitalised patients, the same principles could presumably be applied to waiting rooms and the areas trial visits are conducted in. For example, look to reduce stress and maintain privacy, reduce noise, provide views or pictures of nature, provide a more aesthetically pleasing environment, maybe have some comfortable chairs.

We think as far as possible, we should be providing an inviting and pleasing environment for trial participants, their carers or families, given they are often having to spend longer at visits than the average patient. We should be providing a great experience across the board. We probably need to be careful though that all trial sites are offering an equally good experience so as not to influence the trial results (if a better patient experience improves outcomes).

We’d love to know from you whether you think the trial clinic environment matters, either as someone who runs a trial centre, or as a person who has taken part in a clinical trial.  What makes a great clinic?  Does having a great clinic change the trial results? Does it influence a decision to take part in a trial?

Join our community (it’s free!) and share your thoughts on the forum post we’ve added in the All Members group to discuss this topic.

 

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