Survey Results Empower Clinical Trial Sponsors with New Opportunities for Patient Engagement
Our latest "Study Voices" survey challenges the long-held belief that the clinical trial experience should be approached differently than the healthcare consumer experience. The latest “Study Voices” survey – part of an ongoing series of surveys designed to shed light on key clinical research trends – explores patient attitudes towards technology, healthcare affordability, physician access, transparency, and quality of care. It features responses from 2,067 individuals – 63% of whom identify themselves as healthcare consumers and 38% of whom identify themselves as clinical trial participants. The research was spearheaded by BBK's MythBusters team of Aaron Fleishman, Matt Kibby, Jessica Kim, Maddy Johnson and Elizabeth Gargill.
“We chose to explore this topic because historically the industry has approached clinical trial participants differently than healthcare consumers – based on the belief that what works to engage healthcare consumers won’t work to engage clinical trial participants,” says Aaron Fleishman, Director, Market Development, BBK Worldwide. “As we see the emergence of a new, empowered healthcare consumer, we wanted to put this belief to the test.”
The survey results showed no discernible difference between participants in clinical trials and the general public in terms of the way they think about health decisions and how they manage their health. For example, use of wearable devices (e.g., health trackers) was consistent across both groups. On a scale of 1–10, with 1 being never and 10 being always, 19% of healthcare consumers ranked their use of wearables between 8–10, and 16% of clinical trial participants ranked their use of wearables between 8–10.
Findings confirm the importance of access to health information, proximity to a specialist, and appointment reminders for healthcare consumers and clinical trial participants alike. Both groups preferred multiple avenues of communications when engaging with their doctor, with 51% of clinical trial participants ranking email communication as very important compared to 44% of healthcare consumers; 66% of clinical trial participants ranking telephone communication as very important compared to 57% of healthcare consumers; and 38% of clinical trial participants ranking text messaging as very important compared to 40% of healthcare consumers.
“The similarities confirm that the two groups are more aligned than previously believed and that clinical trial sponsors should feel empowered to embrace more technology-driven, consumer-oriented innovations into their engagement efforts,” says Fleishman.
“One other important takeaway from the survey is that the patient’s relationship with the doctor is still the most important thing, regardless of whether they are a healthcare consumer or a clinical trial participant,” says Jessica Kim, Director, Research and Digital Strategy, BBK Worldwide. “The increase in new technologies and expansion of communication channels cannot replace the personal connection that patients clearly seek.”
The Study Voices survey includes responses from 2,067 individuals and was conducted between January and February 2020.