Background: Trial monitoring protects participant safety and study integrity. While monitors commonly go on site to verify source data, there is little evidence that this practice is efficient or effective. An ongoing international HIV treatment trial (START) provides an opportunity to explore the usefulness of different monitoring approaches. Methods: All START sites are centrally monitored and required to follow a local monitoring plan requiring specific quality assurance activities. In addition, sites were randomized (1:1) to receive, or not receive, annual on-site monitoring. The study will determine if on-site monitoring increases the identification of major protocol deviations (eligibility or consent violations, improper study drug use, primary or serious event underreporting, data alteration or fraud). Results: The START study completed enrollment in December 2013, with planned follow-up through December 2016. The monitoring study is ongoing at 196 sites in 34 countries. Results are expected when the START study concludes in December 2016.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Grant support was received from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (grant number U01AI068641).
- centralized monitoring
- clinical trials
- data monitoring
- on-site monitoring
- quality assurance