A recent international poll has underlined the importance of clinical-trial sponsors raising awareness and highlighting patient-recruitment opportunities online.
Online community and ePatient recruitment specialist Tudor Reilly Health used its Hepatitis C News community to survey members on how they found out about clinical trials.
The survey was run in May 2013, with 131 community members from the US, UK, Europe and Australia participating.
Among these respondents, just under one fifth of respondents had taken part in clinical trials.
Of those participants, almost half (49%) had found out about clinical studies online, either through web searches or online advertisements. And just under half had learnt about trials through their doctor.
Moreover, nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents overall had never been informed about clinical research by their doctor.
The survey also showed a growing appetite for health information online, with 94% of respondents saying they used the internet as a research tool for information on their health.
One third of the respondents felt they did not know enough about clinical trials, suggesting there is room to improve awareness and increase study participation through better patient-focused information, both online and in doctor’s surgeries, Tudor Reilly Health noted.
“Patients are increasingly taking ownership of their health and are keen to equip themselves with the information they need,” commented Julie Walters, managing director of Tudor Reilly Health.
“These findings emphasise the need for those conducting trials to consider reaching potential participants through other means,” Walters added.