BACKGROUND: A critical issue for multicentre clinical studies is conducting site initiations, ensuring sites are trained in study procedures and comply with relevant governance requirements before they begin recruiting patients. How technology can support site initiations has not previously been explored.
OBJECTIVE: This study sought to evaluate use of off-the-shelf web-based videoconferencing to deliver site initiations for a large national multicentre study.
METHODS: Participants in the initiations, including podiatrists, diabetologists, trial coordinators, and research nurses, completed an online questionnaire based on the System Usability Scale (SUS) (N = 15). This was followed by semi-structured interviews, with a consultant diabetologist, a trial coordinator, and three research nurses, exploring perceived benefits and limitations of videoconferencing.
RESULTS: The mean SUS score for the videoconferencing platform was 87.2 (SD = 13.7), suggesting a good level of usability. Interview participants perceived initiations delivered by videoconferencing as being more interactive and easier to follow than those delivered by teleconference. In comparison to face-to-face initiations, videoconferencing takes less time, easily fitting in with the work of staff at the local sites. Perceptions of impact on communication varied according to the hardware used.
CONCLUSION: Off-the-shelf videoconferencing is a viable alternative to face-to-face site initiations and confers advantages over teleconferencing.
- patient selection
- site initiations