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Patient recruitment and retention 2021 state of play

At COUCH Health, we’ve recently done some social listening to look into the discussions around ‘patient recruitment’ and ‘patient retention’, to see if these conversations have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s take a closer look at our findings…

We did two key searches during the social listening process, which allowed us to compare between the discussions that were related to COVID-19 and those that weren’t. And unsurprisingly, we found that there were more mentions of patient recruitment and patient retention when COVID-19 was included in the search.

This could mean that COVID-19 is sparking more conversation around patient recruitment and retention, with the greater number of mentions possibly being due to the current climate of clinical trials and the continued search to find a vaccine for COVID-19. The online mentions usually included how COVID-19 has affected the industry:

  • The effect of COVID-19
  • Developments in medicines/drugs
  • Increase in clinical trials due to COVID-19
  • Market growth

There were some key similarities during discussions

During our social listening, we also noted the top keywords which appeared in the mentions of patient recruitment and retention. And there were some key similarities between those that included COVID-19 and those that didn’t:

  • Both have ‘Patient recruitment’ as a high-ranking keyword. This could be due to the emphasis on new clinical trials and COVID-19 clinical trials needing to recruit patients.
  • Both have ‘Development’ as a keyword, which may be due to the advancements that the industry is making with drugs and patient technologies.

Patient recruitment and retention is a hot topic in the US

Our results also showed that patient recruitment and retention was mentioned the most in the US, followed by Canada and the UK. The reason for this?

Possibly because these countries are making the most developments in patient recruitment and retention, as they are highly developed countries. For example, new technologies available for patients or more drugs being developed, which means more patients are needed for participation. US news and discussions also tend to have a global reach, so this could be why it is at the forefront here.

Joy was the most expressed emotion

Finally, we also analysed the emotions behind the mentions of patient recruitment and retention. And during the emotional analysis, joy was reported the highest across both searches. This could be because of potential breakthroughs and general progress within clinical trials.

However, we’re still seeing fear and negative sentiments across posts too, which is understandable with the devastating impact of COVID-19. The overall sentiment for both searches was neutral, suggesting mixed views both positive and negative terminology is being used

Overall, we gained some interesting insights during the social listening process. Take a look at these in more detail and discover more of our findings here.


  Patient Recruitment and Retention 2021
PDF File: 1.6 MB

28th January 2021


  Patient Recruitment and Retention 2021
PDF File: 1.6 MB



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COUCH Health

+44 (0) 330 995 0656

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United Kingdom

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