Apr 30

Subjects recruitment in clinical trials : how can Twitter help

Recruitment Comments Off on Subjects recruitment in clinical trials : how can Twitter help

In the last decade or two, we have seen an emergence in social media. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter are only a few of the numerous social social networking websites that have seen an increased in popularity recently. Social media are great and now essential tools to create a connection between patients that actively use internet and the health research world.

With its 140 characters maximum messages, Twitter is a good example of a social media website that can be used towards reaching this target.

For example, @crgonzalez’s article “Whispering Tweets into a Patient’s Ear: Top Ten Suggestions for Clinical Trial Recruiters” suggests great ways to use twitter and its add-ons to optimize recruitment in clinical trials.


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In summary, Gonzalez’s article suggests

  • To include and validate through an ethics committee board the use of a Twitter account as a strategy to recruit subjects in clinical trials
  • Twitter will be used to help circulate information about current studies and where to look for further information (websites, phone numbers, etc), which information would also be approved by an ethics committee
  • To optimize the Twitter message by using relevant hashtags (a way to unite global Tweets around some particular topic )
  • To follow the impact generated by the message using one of the many available add-ons and apps such as tweetscan
  • To apply netiquette Twitter rules, which are to be spontaneous, to be clear, to be concise, to bring the relevent information in order to allow retweets and get others to talk about it

Another great example of Twitter application is presented by trialx.org in their article, “Now You Can Talk to Twitter and Find Clinical Trials on TrialX“. Trialx.org is a website that connects patients and study investigators.

Trialx has created their own Twitter account that allows anyone looking for a study to send a tweet starting with CT (for clinical trial), followed by a short presentation (age,sexe,disease/pathology). A personnalized answer is sent by @trialx to that person. That personnalized answer includes relevant studies trialx.org is aware of. @trialx can also, confidentially, communicate directly to the potential subject.

For more information, visit Clinical Trials.

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