We Are Listening: Early REACT Survey Results

In order to better understand researchers’ needs in the medical rehabilitation research space, and specifically clinical trials, REACT launched a Needs Assessment Survey this spring. It includes questions designed to assess major barriers to the conduct of clinical research in medical rehabilitation, and touches on clinical research elements such as study design, statistical/data topics, reporting and dissemination, budgets, and more. We are using the survey results, along with other indicators, to help shape the REACT Center coursework and other program offerings to respond to your needs.

Thank you to those who’ve already taken the survey—it remains open and we encourage everyone to spread the word and participate, so we continue to assess the needs of the medical rehabilitation clinical research community and adjust our educational offerings accordingly.  Below are some informative preliminary survey results.  

Demographics - Investigators

69% of our survey respondents are currently leading or involved in clinical trials or observation studies. 80% self-classify as study investigators or co-investigators, with the majority (60%) reporting to be Associate/Assistant Professors. Many of our responders were highly experienced in the conduct of clinical trials with more than 2 out of 5 reporting participation in 6 or more clinical trials in the past 5 years.

Demographics – Patient Populations

The top three patient populations you said you would like to target in future clinical trials are: the aging/frail; those with musculoskeletal diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.

Barriers to Clinical Trials in Medical Rehabilitation

You reported that the number-one barrier to clinical trials in medical rehabilitation is recruitment and retention of both subjects and sites. This is followed by a lack of resources for trial design and coordination. Lack of pilot study funding came in third (read about our inaugural pilot awardees).

Clinical Trials Education

Your top two responses to the “study design topics you’d most like to learn about” were dissimilar but equally important: 1) applying to funding agencies (a crucial first step), and 2) incorporating wearables and biospecimens into your trials.

How You Prefer to Learn

Based on your responses, you prefer learning about clinical trials via simulcast/webinar lecture or in-person workshop over other training formats.

Wearable Devices + Mobile Health Apps

You let us know that 56% of you are currently using wearables in ongoing studies, and of those not currently using wearables, biosensors, and mobile health applications, 79% indicate a desire to use them. The major barrier to doing so, you reported, was a lack of resources (financial or informational) (84%). You are, however, relatively uncertain about the reliability of data provided by these.

The top four wearables, device, biosensor, or other mobile health applications currently used by researchers in rank order are:

  1. ActiGraph
  2. Fitbit
  3. Smartphone
  4. SenseWear Armbands

The top four outcomes respondents would like to monitor with wearables, biosensors, or mobile health are:

  1. Physical Activity
  2. Steps
  3. Exercise Adherence
  4. Patient reported outcomes (e.g., pain, fatigue, and quality of life)