Communication is the Key to Success in Pragmatic Clinical Trials in Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs)

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Abstract

Effective communication is the foundation of feasibility and fidelity in practice-based pragmatic research studies. Doing a study with practices spread over several states requires long-distance communication strategies, including E-mails, faxes, telephone calls, conference calls, and texting. Compared with face-to-face communication, distance communication strategies are less familiar to most study coordinators and research teams. Developing and ensuring comfort with distance communications requires additional time and use of different talents and expertise than those required for face-to-face communication. It is necessary to make sure that messages are appropriate for the medium, clearly crafted, and presented in a manner that facilitates practices receiving and understanding the information. This discussion is based on extensive experience of 2 groups who have worked collaboratively on several large, federally funded, pragmatic trials in a practice-based research network. The goal of this article is to summarize lessons learned to facilitate the work of other research teams.

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