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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2010 Feb;69(2):128-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2009.03561.x.

Promoting public awareness of randomised clinical trials using the media: the 'Get Randomised' campaign.

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  • 1Medicines Monitoring Unit (MEMO), University of Dundee, Dundee and Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.


WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN ABOUT THIS SUBJECT * Recruitment is key to the success of clinical trials. * Many clinical trials fail to achieve adequate recruitment. * Public understanding and engagement in clinical research could be improved. WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS * 'Get Randomised' is the first campaign of its kind in the UK. * It is possible to improve public awareness of clinical research using the media. * Further work is needed to determine whether improved public awareness leads to increased participation in clinical research in the future. AIM To increase public awareness and understanding of clinical research in Scotland. METHODS A generic media campaign to raise public awareness of clinical research was launched in 2008. The 'Get Randomised' campaign was a Scotland-wide initiative led by the University of Dundee in collaboration with other Scottish universities. Television, radio and newspaper advertising showed leading clinical researchers, general practitioners and patients informing the public about the importance of randomised clinical trials (RCTs). 'Get Randomised' was the central message and interested individuals were directed to the website for more information. To assess the impact of the campaign, cross-sectional surveys were conducted in representative samples of 1040 adults in Scotland prior to campaign launch and again 6 months later. RESULTS There was an improvement in public awareness of clinical trials following the campaign; 56.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 51.8, 61.6] of the sample recalled seeing or hearing advertising about RCTs following the campaign compared with 14.8% (10.8, 18.9) prior to the campaign launch (difference = 41.4%; 95% CI for difference 35.6, 48.3; P < 0.01). Of those who recalled the advertising, 49% felt that the main message was that people should take part more in medical research. However, on whether they would personally take part in a clinical trial if asked, there was little difference in response following the campaign ['yes' 31.3% (28.4, 34.1) prior; 30.4% (27.6, 33.2) following; difference =-0.9%; 95% CI for difference -4.8, 3.1%; P= 0.92]. CONCLUSIONS It is possible to raise public awareness of clinical research using the media, but further efforts may be required to influence individuals' decisions to take part in clinical research.


Keywords; media; public engagement; randomised clinical trials

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