What is the most important aspect to a clinical trial? Is it the variables, site’s, PI’s, hypotheses, data, results, placebo or the treatment? One could argue they are all equally important, but none of them are possible without participants. The simple truth is that you can not have a clinical study without participants. Another truth is that if we want to produce reliable and valid results, our participant pool must be suited to the topic of interest. So how do we attract potential participants to our study.
The number one thing we have to keep in mind is that our possible participants are people just like you and me! And as people, we know that we don’t like to give our time for free. With this being said, it is important to provide an incentive to your participants. Here are some examples:
- Gift cards (physical or digital)
- Entry into a contest
- Prize drawing
- Coupon codes or discounts
- Physical gifts or product giveaways
Another incentive for participants is helping them understand the good they are doing by participating in your trial. Again, people enjoy doing something for the better. You should find a thorough way to explain to your potential participants that by participating they are helping make a positive impact in the medical field. This type of incentive is also a good motivator to help keep your participants active and genuine in your study, providing more accurate and reliable outcomes. We will talk about this more in an upcoming blog – stay tuned!
Besides incentives and motivators, another way to attract possible participants is to make sure you are clear with your communication. For some, participating in a clinical trial may be their first time being introduced to certain terminology and methodologies. Try your best to be as clear and simple when communicating with your participant. The unknown can be scary to potential participants but this barrier can be avoided through the right strategies of communication.