BACKGROUND - The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sponsored a randomized clinical trial comparing six versus three times per week in-center hemodialysis (the Frequent Hemodialysis Network [FHN] Daily Trial), to test the effects of frequent hemodialysis on an array of intermediate outcomes. Herein we report challenges to enrollment and randomization into the trial.
METHODS - Screening and enrollment was tracked at all participating dialysis clinics and specific reasons for dropout after baseline assessment were recorded for all enrolled subjects. Reasons for consent refusal were recorded in a subset of (10 out of 65) sites.
RESULTS - The trial screened 6276 hemodialysis patients on three times weekly hemodialysis in 65 hemodialysis clinics, 3481 (55%) were considered eligible for enrollment, and 3124 (90%) were approached for consent; 378 (12%) consented and 245 were randomized (65% of those enrolled). Prospective subjects chose not to participate primarily because of the anticipated time required for three extra treatments per week and the difficulties in following the protocol.
CONCLUSIONS - Recruitment into the FHN Daily Trial proved challenging but the goal of 250 randomized subjects was almost met.