5 quick tips for improving diverse patient recruitment

You might be familiar with the fact that here at COUCH Health, we’re always talking about diversity and inclusion. Without going into too much detail, diversity and inclusion is a huge issue in clinical trials; lots of patients from minority groups aren’t getting the opportunity to take part in clinical trials that could potentially be lifesaving. You’ll find plenty of things around why it’s so important to improve diversity and inclusion over on our Demand Diversity website. But that’s not why we’re here today.

Today, let’s get down to business and talk about what you can do to ensure your clinical trial awareness campaign is more diverse and inclusive.

Don’t worry, this won’t keep you long, because here’s 5 quick tips to make sure you get started on the right path, and then it’s all you from there.

Ready? Let’s go.

 

1. Use a range of diverse photos and videos

The website you use to raise awareness of your clinical trial is most likely going to be the first port of call for patients. It’s the place where they’ll want to find out everything they need to know about the clinical trial and how to take part if they want to.

Of course, you want the website to be informative, but it also needs to be relatable. Patients want to see themselves in the story you’re telling. If patients can’t see something on the clinical trial website that relates to them — if they can’t really see themselves on that website — they might think “Maybe this isn’t for me. Why are there only pictures of men?” or “Is this clinical trial only for people under 30?”

A simple yet impactful way to address this is to look at updating the imagery and videos you’re using. Take more time to seek out different options that show individuals from underrepresented groups. That way, the website will be more relatable to a wider range of people and inclusive of all.

It’s also worth noting that this isn’t limited to your website — any materials that are a part of your clinical trial awareness campaign should include diverse and relatable imagery too.

 

2. Mix up your content by adding video and audio

While you might prefer to read pages and pages about clinical trials, others might prefer to listen.

We all learn in different ways and it’s important to consider that for your clinical trial awareness campaign. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and there are factors that you can’t always see that you need to consider. For example, those with learning or visual disabilities.

Have you ever thought about condensing the information about your clinical trial into a short, animated video? Or maybe you could incorporate audio snippets into your website?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to thinking of different ways to inform people about your clinical trial. The main thing is, use a variety of different types of content to make sure it’s always inclusive.

 

3. Consider the user experience and accessibility

You need to ensure that everyone who visits your clinical trial website, or comes into contact with any of your clinical trial awareness campaign materials, has a good user experience and will know what to do if they want to take part. And that includes those with visual or audio impairments too.

Ways to ensure your clinical trial website is accessible and guaranteed to provide a good user experience include:

  • Adding image ALT text
  • Avoiding poor contrasting colours (e.g., don’t use dark text on a dark background)
  • Using large and crisp text
  • Avoiding flashing animation

In addition to these steps, your clinical trial website overall should be logically structured and enable patients to navigate through the website with ease, flowing through the information in an easy to digest order.

 

4. Offer content or support in other languages

Have you thought about those whose first language isn’t English? It might sound simple but making sure your clinical trial website and content within it, as well as your clinical trial awareness campaign materials, are available in relevant multiple languages can help you to reach a much wider audience.

If your clinical trial website and materials are only available in English, you could be missing the opportunity to reach underrepresented groups, and the lack of diversity and inclusion will only get worse for your clinical trial.

 

5. Use diverse patient leaders to raise awareness

Providing education and spreading awareness are key to improving patient recruitment for your clinical trial, and community outreach is a great way of getting the word out there. At this stage, there’s an effective opportunity for you to show that you walk the talk when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Take a look at who is providing that education and sharing the resources for your clinical trial awareness campaign: is it a team of diverse community leaders? Clinical trials are a big part of a patient’s journey, and having someone that they can trust and relate to as part of that journey can have a big impact on their decision to take part.

 


 

So, I really believe you could benefit from these 5 tips. For more guidance on how to improve diversity and inclusion for your patient recruitment, reach out to me at sarah@couchhealth.co and I’d love to chat.

 

Diversity in Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment

Sarah Pritchard

Sarah is Lead Designer at COUCH Health. Sarah embodies the very best of design, from making sure each piece of work is pixel perfect, to crafting seamless user experiences. She’s hard working, highly motivated and passionate about our work. No challenge is too big or too small, and she really makes every project her best yet.

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