Clinical Trials BC

Enhancing the Clinical Research Experience



Clinical research provides access for patients to promising new drugs and medical devices. It also enables access to the best available clinical care from health care professionals who are leaders in their fields.

Resource Toolkit


In 2017, Clinical Trials BC engaged patients and the public to learn about their clinical trial experience. Based on their findings, an online toolkit for researchers was developed to share communications practices that can improve the experiences of participants taking part in clinical trials. This best practices resource toolkit was created by a working group of research participants, researchers, ethics administrators and decision makers.


The Clinical Trials BC Resource Toolkit:


Best practices

*A print version is available upon request


Introductory webinar


About the Canadian Clinical Research Participation Survey


The Resource Toolkit was developed following the Canadian Clinical Research Participation Survey. The survey was a national initiative by Clinical Trials BC to engage and learn from patients and the public about their clinical trial experience, especially people who have declined to participate in a clinical study. Any Canadian who was ever invited to participate or enroll their child in a clinical trial was eligible. National recruitment activities were funded by the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre (CCTCC) and conducted in partnership with N2 Canada.


Survey enrollment closed April 30, 2017 with 1,000 responses in both French and English. Data analysis was completed in March 2018.


The survey showed that many participants were left with unanswered questions both during and at the end of the research study. As one participant explained: “I would have liked to have the study follow up to me directly about my results and the results of the overall study,” while another respondent stated: “My experience was incredibly disappointing; I never received the study results.”


This is problematic for three main reasons:

  1. It leaves participants feeling unsatisfied with their experiences in research, which results in attrition and less willingness to participate in research in the future.
  2. The Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement clearly states that informing participants of the research results is as important as disseminating results to the research community.
  3. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research acknowledges that the impact of research on the health care system is directly related to effectively communicating research findings back to knowledge users, including members of the public who may be affected by those findings.

View a webinar of the survey results.


Current initiatives


Following the success of the Canadian Clinical Research Participation Survey, a 17-member provincial working group was formed in 2019 to support some of the knowledge-to-action items as part of a broader strategy to improve recruitment and retention in clinical trials for BC. The primary objective is to identify methods to increase communication of study results to participants in BC and ultimately create a more positive culture around clinical trials. This working group comprises clinical researchers, health system decision makers, patient partners and representatives from health authorities. We welcome requests for collaboration on further workshops or knowledge translation activities specific to site needs.


Past initiatives


In 2015, Clinical Trials BC partnered with Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) to conduct a public opinion survey on Awareness and Perceptions of Canadians on the Benefits and Risks of Clinical Trials. The 2015 survey asked 1,602 Ontario and British Columbia residents about their understanding of, and willingness to participate in, clinical trials.


Read more about the survey.
See the survey results.

Partner resources


Through this toolkit, Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) aims to help the clinical trials community improve clinical trial participants’ experiences by helping participants to feel informed and valued. The toolkit provides guidance, considerations, and examples and references to inspire the community around five topic areas:

  • Participant information and support
  • Participant expense reimbursement
  • Participant experience surveys
  • Plain language result summaries
  • Thanking participants

Access the Clinical Trials Ontario Participant Experience Toolkit.