Challenges and Barriers to Adverse Event Reporting in Clinical Trials: A Children's Oncology Group Report.

TitleChallenges and Barriers to Adverse Event Reporting in Clinical Trials: A Children's Oncology Group Report.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMiller TP, Marx MZ, Henchen C, DeGroote NP, Jones S, Weiland J, Fisher B, Esbenshade AJ, Aplenc R, Dvorak CC, Fisher BT
JournalJ Patient Saf
Date Published2021 Sep 23

OBJECTIVE: Adverse event (AE) reporting is crucial for determining safety of trials. Adverse events are captured manually by clinical research associates (CRAs) and research nurses (RNs), and prior studies show underreporting. It is necessary to understand AE reporting training, processes, and institution-level differences to improve AE capture.

METHODS: A 26-item questionnaire regarding AE reporting training, identification, tracking, and challenges was distributed to all Children's Oncology Group (COG) CRAs and RNs from February 15 to March 11, 2019, regardless of if they report AEs based on limitations of COG rosters. Results were tabulated. Institutions were grouped by self-reported full-time equivalents and compared using χ2 tests.

RESULTS: Of 1315 CRAs and 2703 RNs surveyed, 509 (12.7%) responded. Of those, 369 (64.9%) representing 71.8% of COG institutions report AEs. Only data from respondents who report AEs were collected and analyzed. There was a range in AE training; COG training modules were most common (79.7%). There was wide variability in AE ascertainment; only 51.2% use standardized approaches at their site. There was no standard AE tracking method; larger sites more commonly use spreadsheets (P = 0.002) and smaller sites more commonly use paper (P = 0.028). The greatest AE reporting challenges were differences between protocols (70%) and between AE definitions and documentation (53%). Half of the respondents endorsed 6 of 13 proposed tools for improving reporting including online AE reporting modules (75.3%), tip sheets for interpreting Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events definitions (67.5%), and standardized AE tracking forms (66.9%). Only half of the respondents reported that all colleagues at their site followed the same AE reporting practices, and there was no dominant AE tracking approach across the respondents.

DISCUSSION: There is wide variability in AE reporting training and practices. Numerous challenges exist, including differences between trials, challenges in interpreting AE definitions, and engaging clinicians.

CONCLUSIONS: Respondents are eager for additional central resources. These results provide a roadmap for areas of potential improvement.

Alternate JournalJ Patient Saf
PubMed ID34570002