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BMJ Open. 2019 Aug 1;9(8):e028714. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028714.

Effect of promoting current local research activities on large monitors on the population's interest in health-related research: a randomised controlled trial.

Author information

Primary Health care, Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, the Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden
Research and Development Primary Health Care, Research and Development Center Södra Älvsborg, Region Västra Götaland, Boras, Sweden.
Emergency Department, Cairns Hospital, Queensland Health, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
College of Medicine and Dentristry, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.



The objectives of this study were threefold: to estimate people's interest in health-related research, to understand to what extent people appreciate being actively informed about current local health-related research and to investigate whether their interest can be influenced by advertising local current health-related research using large TV monitors.


Randomised controlled trial using a stepped wedge design.


The emergency department waiting room at two public hospitals in northern Queensland, Australia.


Waiting patients and their accompanying friends and relatives in the emergency department waiting room not requiring immediate medical attention.


A TV monitor advertising local current health-related research.


OR for the effect of intervention on changing the interest in health-related research compared with a control group while adjusting for gender, age and socioeconomic standard.


The intervention significantly increased the short-term interest in health-related research with an OR of 1.3 (1.1-1.7, p=0.0063). We also noted that being female and being older was correlated to a higher interest in health-related research CONCLUSIONS: This study found that proactive information significantly increased the general populations' interest in health-related research. There are reasonable set up costs involved but the costs for maintaining the system were very low. Hence, it seems reasonable that research-active organisations should give much higher priority to this type of activity.




access to information; public opinion; randomised controlled trial

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: The online project database used in this study was Researchweb. RG was responsible for the development of the Researchweb system between 2000 and 2011 when it was developed within the Vastra Gotaland region (a government-run healthcare provider in the south-western part of Sweden). The Researchweb system was transferred from the Vastra Gotaland region to a limited liability company in February 2012. There have never been any financial links or remunerations between the limited liability company and RG, nor is there (or will ever be) any written or verbal agreements about any future remunerations from this company to RG.

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