The use of electronic data capture tools in clinical trials: Web-survey of 259 Canadian trials

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Title: The use of electronic data capture tools in clinical trials: Web-survey of 259 Canadian trials
Authors: El Emam, Khaled
Jonker, Elizabeth
Sampson, Margaret
Krleža-Jerić, Karmela
Neisa, Angelica
Date: 2009
Abstract: Background: Electronic data capture (EDC) tools provide automated support for data collection, reporting, query resolution, randomization, and validation, among other features, for clinical trials. There is a trend toward greater adoption of EDC tools in clinical trials, but there is also uncertainty about how many trials are actually using this technology in practice. A systematic review of EDC adoption surveys conducted up to 2007 concluded that only 20% of trials are using EDC systems, but previous surveys had weaknesses. Objectives: Our primary objective was to estimate the proportion of phase II/III/IV Canadian clinical trials that used an EDC system in 2006 and 2007. The secondary objectives were to investigate the factors that can have an impact on adoption and to develop a scale to assess the extent of sophistication of EDC systems. Methods: We conducted a Web survey to estimate the proportion of trials that were using an EDC system. The survey was sent to the Canadian site coordinators for 331 trials. We also developed and validated a scale using Guttman scaling to assess the extent of sophistication of EDC systems. Trials using EDC were compared by the level of sophistication of their systems. Results: We had a 78.2% response rate (259/331) for the survey. It is estimated that 41% (95% CI 37.5%-44%) of clinical trials were using an EDC system. Trials funded by academic institutions, government, and foundations were less likely to use an EDC system compared to those sponsored by industry. Also, larger trials tended to be more likely to adopt EDC. The EDC sophistication scale had six levels and a coefficient of reproducibility of 0.901 (P< .001) and a coefficient of scalability of 0.79. There was no difference in sophistication based on the funding source, but pediatric trials were likely to use a more sophisticated EDC system. Conclusion: The adoption of EDC systems in clinical trials in Canada is higher than the literature indicated: a large proportion of clinical trials in Canada use some form of automated data capture system. To inform future adoption, research should gather stronger evidence on the costs and benefits of using different EDC systems.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/12902
CollectionPédiatrie // Pediatrics
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