What We’ve Been Working On: Encouraging Participation in Clinical Trials

 In Messaging, Projects, Services

Our client, a contract research organization (CRO), conducts early and late phase trials for the pharmaceutical industry. They were interested in identifying how to encourage new and repeat participation in the clinical trials they managed.

We conducted a two-phase study. First, we administered surveys to previous clinical trial participants and to members of the public that had never participated in a trial. Within the surveys, we explored sources of credibility, the best channels for reaching participants, and the motivations and barriers to participation. Second, we conducted a series of in-depth interviews with members of each of these audiences to further understand their experiences and perceptions. In short, we needed to get to the “why?” behind the anonymous data in our surveys.

Our research provided more than just findings. It provided actionable responses to what we learned in the field. Here are just a handful of solutions we identified through this study:

  • New messages and visuals for recruitment materials to ensure message effectiveness
  • The right messengers and channels for the appeals to ensure the appropriate spend on the appropriate channels
  • A series of online and offline communication tools to support the recruitment and engagement of prior and potential participants
  • Opportunities for improving the actual participation experience to encourage repeat participation and tap into our most promising recruitment pool

These findings now permeate all outreach and communication touchpoints in the recruitment process. In addition to providing a framework for developing new recruitment opportunities, they serve as a gut-check for all outgoing communications as we constantly ask, “How would this appeal to our research participants?”


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