How patient research can personalise your patient recruitment strategy

No patient is the same, and that’s what can make targeted patient recruitment strategies difficult. What might resonate with one patient, may not resonate with another. So, the challenge is, how can patient recruitment materials be created to engage with target populations if everyone is different? Well, there’s one way to make it easier – using patient insights to create personas.

Patient research gives you perspective on how to target populations accurately by tapping into the specific wants and medical needs of different patients. Patient research of this kind begins by finding the answers to these questions: who are the patient population? Why do they care about a specific clinical trial? What are we going to say that matters to them? Once you thoroughly understand the patient and their potential motives for joining a clinical trial, you can use these insights to develop different personas to base your patient recruitment strategy on.


What are patient personas?

Take a look at the patient population you want to target. Sure, patients are all individuals in their own right, but they have distinct commonalities too. For example, many patients will have children, or grandchildren. You can place patients into groups based on their demographics, like these:


  • Age
  • Gender
  • Sex
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital status
  • Family – do they have children/grandchildren?

Think of these factors like a baseline for developing a patient persona. From this, you can develop your personas further with psychographics:


  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Political leaning
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Where they spend their free time
  • Their patterns of activity online


Now you have a better understanding of the demographics and psychographics of your population, it’s time to add more patient research into the mix. This is where you identify what patients want from their healthcare, their specific goals and the needs that they want met. You can also identify potential obstacles and challenges that prevent them from reaching their healthcare goals.


How to use patient personas

So, once you’ve used all of the above, you’ll be able to create specific personas to guide the production of patient recruitment materials. It’s easier to give each patient persona a name too, so you can easily refer back to the ones you’ve created. Once you’re finished, you’ll be left with something like this.

Tracy persona: people in the Tracy persona have children and spend time online regularly. They regularly contact primary care doctors, and have a motivation to find solutions for their health. People that fit into the Tracy persona are likely to have chronic conditions, and wouldn’t be opposed to join a clinical trial. People in the Tracy persona have a large number of family commitments and care-giving duties, so may find it difficult to find time to look for clinical trials that suit them.

From this persona, you can deduce that these patients should be targeted using digital patient recruitment materials due to the amount of time they spend online. Online pre-eligibility forms may also increase enrolment for this persona, as online forms can be completed at any time outside of family commitments. Strict eligibility criteria and time-consuming patient recruitment forms are likely to be off-putting.


It’s time to tailor your patient recruitment strategy

With the average person’s attention span lasting a mere eight seconds nowadays, personalised messaging is more crucial to your patient recruitment strategy than ever. By using in-depth, accurate patient research, you can tailor your patient recruitment with relevant messaging, imagery and focused on the patient's specific pain points.

If you’d like to learn more about how to use patient insights, there are plenty more resources to read across our website. Feel free to take a look around. Alternatively, if you prefer to have a chat, come and talk to us at


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Patient Recruitment Patient Research

Annabel Evans

With her background in cognitive neuroscience and psychology, Annabel is a big believer in breaking out of one’s comfort zone – using her passion for analytics and problem solving to help make a real difference for clinical patients, no matter how great the challenge.

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