By Nick O'Brien
Many of the challenges in clinical research stem from the experience gap between researchers and their patients. The research teams who conduct clinical trials do so with years of specialized education and training under their belt, while most participants journey through the patient experience as laypeople. This disparity creates a mandate for the development of strategies and tools that can reconcile researchers’ technical language and medical expertise with the common language to which most patients are restricted. One of these tools is dictionary coding, a solution that streamlines the process for translating patient-reported symptoms into official terminology. Dictionary coding has appeared among the software offerings of the electronic data capture (EDC) industry, and has simplified the process of coding and recording patient-reported adverse events for Sponsors and CROs that use it.