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Listening to Our Audience: How Can We Spread the Word About Clinical Trials?

by Melynda Geurts

This is the second of two posts containing excerpts from our just-released ebook on proactive recruitment planning

How do patients and caregivers gather information and make decisions about health care? This is an important question, because by identifying the most popular information channels, we can determine how best to market clinical trials. Imperial surveyed 4,500 patients and caregivers to determine the resources they rely on.

We found the two top sources of information were health care providers (79 percent) and the internet (72 percent).

 Information Resources_1b

This survey confirmed what our focus groups have told us: newly-diagnosed individuals often go first to the internet for their research. This can be positive, though the unregulated, untamed internet is also a source of misinformation. However, we found in most cases, regardless of what the individual learned on the internet, they speak with their primary care physician about options and next steps.

Primary care physicians are trusted resources, but are they directing patients to studies? Almost half of the survey respondents, 44 percent, said they would consider participating in a study, but a large majority, 88 percent, told us their provider had never mentioned or referred them to a study.

This continues to be a problem area for our industry: a lack of awareness among the medical community. Primary care physicians are resources that are not being used to their potential.

Based on our experience, patients are typically better qualified to participate in specific trials when they have been medically vetted by referring physicians.

Physicians are important allies in patient recruitment and the onus is on sponsors to get the appropriate education about ongoing clinical trials into the hands of referring physicians and health care providers. This requires continuous education and messaging about trials being conducted in health care providers’ areas and helping sites connect with physicians.

Click here to download your free copy of our new ebook, Proactive Patient Recruitment.

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