Could videos increase clinical trial participation?

Increase clinical trial participation

Three UK NHS Trusts are testing video as part of a clinical trial to see if it could help engage with patients and increase participation.

Recruitment in clinical trials is a complex process involving not only patients but physicians, sponsors, trials professionals and research staff. Hindered by tight timelines and often fragmented communications, recruitment rates can be disappointingly low.

Often the information used in clinical trials can be quite lengthy and due to legal requirements, to meet governing body standards, can contain a lot of jargon.   Video could prove to be a more visual and easier to digest form of communication to support the patient.

Strength TrialThe decision was made to pilot the use of video on the ‘STRENGTH trial’, which is looking at how a highly concentrated fish oil pill could reduce the effects of heart disease and lower the risk of having a stroke or another stroke.  This will be a 5 year trial.

Health and Care Videos set out to produce a series of 5 videos to support clinicians and GPs and to educate patients about the trial including:

2 GP facing videos:

  • Guidance video for GPs how to best use the videos
  • GP/hospital reception video advertisement ‘We are running this trial, 18 or over, high risk of having a heart attack, speak to your doctor’.

3 patient facing videos:

  • Message from the Chief Investigator – what the trial is about
  • How patients are screened for eligibility, what happens if fail the first screen, if you do join the trial what will you be expected to do?
  • Explains to the patient what informed consent is and what they are agreeing to and that they are free to leave the trial at any time.

The videos will be shown on the websites of the Trusts hosting the trials namely Royal Devon and Exeter, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and Barts (London) and within the waiting areas of participating GP practices and hospitals in the local areas.

Recruitment will continue until February 2017 after which the following evaluation will take place:

  • An increase in recruitment numbers at the sites where the videos have been used
  • Feedback from an optional patient survey – if they retained basic information, if as a result of watching the videos are they better engaged during the appointment about what they are getting into
  • Feedback on how to engage better and how video should be used of video views