PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To describe techniques to overcome challenges of collaborating with multiple clinical sites and participants to enhance recruitment and retention for cancer symptom management randomized clinical trials (RCTs). DATA SOURCES: Personal experiences and publications related to recruitment and retention of sites and participants in RCTs, which were found by searching MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO records. DATA SYNTHESIS: Techniques to overcome challenges related to multisite research, patient confidentiality guidelines, and work with an at-risk population were identified and applied successfully in an RCT designed to modify fatigue during and following adjuvant breast cancer chemotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: Successful recruitment and retention depended on the value that site personnel placed on symptom management research, identification of a designated contact person at each site, and flexibility in maintaining communication among the project director, contact individuals, and participants. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Initial and ongoing collaboration with participants and a contact person at each site, assurance of privacy of protected health information, and emotional support are critical to recruitment and retention throughout cancer symptom management RCTs.
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