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Assessing the potential for prevention or earlier detection of on-site monitoring findings from randomised controlled trials: Further analyses of findings from the prospective TEMPER triggered monitoring study

Cragg, WJ; Hurley, C; Yorke-Edwards, V; Stenning, SP; (2020) Assessing the potential for prevention or earlier detection of on-site monitoring findings from randomised controlled trials: Further analyses of findings from the prospective TEMPER triggered monitoring study. Clinical Trials 10.1177/1740774520972650. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Clinical trials should be designed and managed to minimise important errors with potential to compromise patient safety or data integrity, employ monitoring practices that detect and correct important errors quickly, and take robust action to prevent repetition. Regulators highlight the use of risk-based monitoring, making greater use of centralised monitoring and reducing reliance on centre visits. The TEMPER study was a prospective evaluation of triggered monitoring (a risk-based monitoring method), whereby centres are prioritised for visits based on central monitoring results. Conducted in three UK-based randomised cancer treatment trials of investigational medicine products with time-to-event outcomes, it found high levels of serious findings at triggered centre visits but also at visits to matched control centres that, based on central monitoring, were not of concern. Here, we report a detailed review of the serious findings from TEMPER centre visits. We sought to identify feasible, centralised processes which might detect or prevent these findings without a centre visit. METHODS: The primary outcome of this study was the proportion of all 'major' and 'critical' TEMPER centre visit findings theoretically detectable or preventable through a feasible, centralised process. To devise processes, we considered a representative example of each finding type through an internal consensus exercise. This involved (a) agreeing the potential, by some described process, for each finding type to be centrally detected or prevented and (b) agreeing a proposed feasibility score for each proposed process. To further assess feasibility, we ran a consultation exercise, whereby the proposed processes were reviewed and rated for feasibility by invited external trialists. RESULTS: In TEMPER, 312 major or critical findings were identified at 94 visits. These findings comprised 120 distinct issues, for which we proposed 56 different centralised processes. Following independent review of the feasibility of the proposed processes by 87 consultation respondents across eight different trial stakeholder groups, we conclude that 306/312 (98%) findings could theoretically be prevented or identified centrally. Of the processes deemed feasible, those relating to informed consent could have the most impact. Of processes not currently deemed feasible, those involving use of electronic health records are among those with the largest potential benefit. CONCLUSIONS: This work presents a best-case scenario, where a large majority of monitoring findings were deemed theoretically preventable or detectable by central processes. Caveats include the cost of applying all necessary methods, and the resource implications of enhanced central monitoring for both centre and trials unit staff. Our results will inform future monitoring plans and emphasise the importance of continued critical review of monitoring processes and outcomes to ensure they remain appropriate.

Type: Article
Title: Assessing the potential for prevention or earlier detection of on-site monitoring findings from randomised controlled trials: Further analyses of findings from the prospective TEMPER triggered monitoring study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1740774520972650
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1740774520972650
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 by The Society for Clinical Trials.This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Monitoring, central monitoring, efficient trial conduct, on-site monitoring, risk-based monitoring
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115810
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