Engaging ALS patients and caregivers (the ALS research ambassadors) to help design the REFINE-ALS biomarker study

James D. Berry, Richard Bedlack, Debra Mathews, Wendy Agnese, Stephen Apple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the planning and design of the Radicava/Edaravone Findings in Biomarkers From Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (REFINE-ALS) study, we sought to elicit feedback from patients with ALS and their caregivers to ensure that patient-centric issues would be addressed. Ten ALS Clinical Research Learning Institute (ALS-CRLI) Research Ambassadors participated in 2 meetings. They provided perspectives on patients’ interest in the study, the schedule of study visits, and data sharing. The findings were used to help revise the study design, as appropriate. Key concerns identified were (1) the frequency of sample collections, (2) participant travel burden, (3) enrollment criteria, and (4) data reporting and sharing with participants. Several of the identified issues were promptly addressed. The number of visits was reduced, travel optimized, entry criteria clarified, and plans for sharing participants’ data with them were codified. The feedback from the Ambassadors was substantive and resulted in constructive patient-centric changes to the study protocol.

Keywords

  • REFINE-ALS
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • biomarkers
  • caregivers
  • patients
  • research ambassadors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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