In the medical field, clinical studies and research are essential for the further development and evolvement of the industry. In order to find new cures and treatments, new products and medications need to be tested and trialed, hence the importance of clinical studies. With that being said, hosting a clinical trial seems to be easy for product companies and doctors; however, the more difficult and complicated part is finding ways to facilitate recruitment. In fact, many product companies have abandoned their potential products due to lack of involvement or registration.
Reason being, people are uneasy and scarred of what they don’t know; people fear the unknown. If there is a standard drug that has been proven effective, why would they want to try a product they have never heard of before? On top of this, who would want to try the product and receive the placebo? These are deterrents for people; however, perhaps it’s in the people’s perspective where the problem lay, it’s the way the clinical trial recruitment is being facilitated. In that, here are five different tips that can help motivate patients to participate and sign up for a clinical study.
1. Patients Needs First
When it comes to developing a successful enrollment program, MRC believes that local stakeholder groups should be a part of the design and recruitment process to create a sense of community and ‘ownership’ of the clinical trial. (Medical Research Council UK). With this said, clinical studies would be impossible without the patients themselves. Therefore, it is important to create a feeling of belonging with every patient, a feeling that makes them realize it would not be possible without them.
2. Make Information Appealing
During a clinical trial, nothing lowers concentration and enjoyment more than a long verbiage and a set of pages to read with fine print. Therefore, it is important to present all information in a way that is appealing and enjoyable for each patient through every clinical study. Lack of appropriate information can widely prevent people from enrolling in clinical trials alongside the way it is presented. Creating an interactive presentation can improve the volunteers desire for recruitment. In addition, the way the information is presented is as equally important as the context that is presented. Using positive and passive words may carry a better response then using long, extraneous verbiage.
3. A Financial Bonus
Despite the controversy behind financial incentives during clinical studies, 24-80% of research organizations and academic centers gives some sort of financial bonus to participants for their time. The MRC believes that offering a modern reimbursement shows the patient a direct appreciation for their time. The first to do this was Walter Reed in 1901 who believed that yellow fever was transmitted through a mosquito, rather than direct contact. His modest payment for volunteers was $100 in gold.
4. Speak Everyone’s Language
Research and years of clinical studies suggest that recruiting minority volunteers goes beyond simply translating written material. It is important to target minorities in a way that makes them feel like the information is tailored towards them, rather than tailored towards a large group of people. According to a Hispanic Trial Participation in the US by the Moffitt Cancer Center, Hispanic patients had different needs and questions than non-Hispanic patients, questions that translated written work could not answer. Therefore, it is detrimental to the success of clinical studies to take in to consideration all sorts of communities and ethnic minorities. In the U.S alone, only 10% of all participants are non-white. With the majority being only one ethnic group, the results will mostly only show the traits and habits of that ethnic group resulting in conclusions only tailored for that certain group of volunteers. By having a variety of minorities, the results can better showcase how to help patients over a large scale.
5. Social Engagement Is Key
In a modern world where almost everything is at the touch of your fingertip, all information available whenever. When it comes to recruitment, building a power social media engagement strategy is key. For a volunteer, the benefit of being able to volunteer in a clinical study within the comforts of his or her home allows for a more honest and comfortable response. With that, you can also tailor the ad in a way that attracts a certain minority, allowing for better precision when targeting certain results.
Change with The Times
Increasing trial participation is a challenge that can be accomplished successfully only by taking careful steps in a way that promote a community belonging more than a clinical study. With the changes in modern technology, not only can all information be accessed quickly, but we can also access the people looking for the information. By adjusting to the times there can be a greater sense of resolve in recruiting volunteers for clinical studies. These adjustments include having a broader view of numerous communities that are vital for clinical studies. Alongside this, it is important to appreciate the people that give their time and bodies of research which allows for the advancement of health.