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Education through animation: informing patients in clinical trials

by Loren R. Caldwell, Senior Patient Recruitment Lead, Parexel

Cisco Visual Networking Index conducted a study in 2014 on the future of Internet traffic , which predicted that by 2019, 80% of the world’s Internet traffic would be in the form of video – and for the US, the percentage was even higher at 85%.1   Another study suggests, that mobile video traffic will grow by 55% each year until 2020.2

These days we gain knowledge and entertainment through watching videos.  The types of videos range in topics from how to make the best lasagna, a gaming tutorial, advice on beauty regimes or even physical training expertise.

A key component of any clinical trial is obtaining a patient’s informed consent.  Explaining the purpose, expectations, eligibility criteria, risks and benefits of a clinical study to a patient can be quite difficult.  Consent forms are generally several pages long, and overwhelming to absorb for many patients.  Study coordinators and investigators are tasked with ensuring that their patient understands and retains the information in a consent form.  Having been a study coordinator, I can fully appreciate the gravity of this task, in the sometimes unpredictable clinical setting.  

Digital media has made it faster and easier to learn just about anything.  By incorporating digital video into the informed consent process, patients can better comprehend study requirements, risks and potential benefits by watching a video, reading the written ICF, and discussing any questions with the study coordinator and investigator.

The Patient Recruitment Strategy Group (PRSG) at Parexel has refined the ICF Support Video by applying our own expertise and working with leading creative production vendors. In about six minutes, we provide audio-visual explanations of a study’s purpose, key eligibility criteria, drug overview and key points for participation.  The video is never intended to replace the conversation between patients and study staff; but it’s proven to be a valuable tool to really show patients what it means to participate in the study – and ensures every patient receives the same information.

Our ICF Support Videos are desktop and mobile-friendly, viewable separately or as part of a larger study portal.  We are delighted to say that feedback from sites so far has been extremely positive.  In addition, we have been able to see its value in study enrollment and retention metrics.

To see a sample of these videos, click below.

https://vimeo.com/193896055  password: casestudy