In a 2009 study conducted by The National Alliance for Caregiving, it was revealed that an estimated 65.7 million people in the U.S. have served as unpaid family caregivers to an adult or a child. That works out to about one-in-five Americans who are actively involved in healthcare decisions for their parent, child, or loved one. So how can we effectively inform this large group of healthcare consumers about clinical research opportunities for their loved ones? Here’s three ideas to get started...
Get the Word Out on the Web
What do caregivers use the Internet for? Well for the most part, pretty much the same things you use it for. They visit the same websites, use the same social media outlets, and even play the same online games. So when planning advertisement placement for your next clinical research study, think beyond just medical- and healthcare-themed websites. Consider local online newspapers, blogs, and gaming websites, where there’s likely to be high amounts of traffic and fewer advertisements for competing studies.
Speak Directly to Caregivers
Patients and caregivers both share the ultimate goal of improved health. However, broaching the idea of study participation with caregivers can and should be different than how we engage patients. While patients have the power to make unilateral decisions regarding their treatment options, caregivers are often left to gather a host of options to then bring to and discuss with their loved one. You can capitalize on this routine by constructing targeted advertisements and caregiver-specific websites that frames the research study as “an option for you and your loved one to consider.” Doing so acknowledges the caregiver’s role in the healthcare process and promotes the bond between patients and caregivers in the decision-making process.
Update Your Study’s Status
Facebook® has over one billion users around the world, and you can be sure that more than a few of them are caring for a family member. Facebook offers a number of ways you can reach out to caregivers: from sponsored advertisements and “Like” campaigns that link to the study website, to creating site- or study-specific pages where caregivers can find additional information about the study opportunity, or complete pre-qualification questionnaires to see if their loved one may be eligible to participate.
We Care About Your Opinion
What’s your experience with caregiver-focused advertising? Tell us about it and we’ll share it right here on our blog. In the meantime, we here at BBK wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!