The Risks of Misinformation in Clinical Trial Recruitment

Misinformation can cause a variety of problems when using digital advertising to recruit participants for clinical trials.

There are two potential sources of misinformation here – errors in the materials used to create the ads, landing pages and questionnaires. And errors made by and propogated by social media comments.

Dealing with the first kind of misinformation is mainly a question of being careful when writing the promotional materials to be used in the study, and to trust your advertising agency to use those correctly.

A monitoring process is also important to have in place, whereby ads and landing pages are checked after being launched by a second person. This is done internally at Wayturn, to ensure full compliancy with the promotional materials created together with the client.

Dealing with comments that are not factual is also a matter of having proper processes in place. Social media ads are not a launch-and-forget type of marketing. You need to expect some social engagement – likes and dislikes, sharing and comments. Some comments can be responded to, or forwarded to the research team. Others need to be promptly deleted.

Misinformation can lead to misunderstandings or mistrust among potential participants. For example, if an ad contains inaccurate or misleading information about the clinical trial, potential participants may be hesitant to participate or may have unrealistic expectations about the risks and benefits of participation.

Misinformation can also lead to confusion about the eligibility criteria for the clinical trial. If potential participants are not fully informed about the criteria, they may waste time and resources trying to participate in a study for which they are not eligible.

Lastly, misinformation can cause problems for the clinical trial itself. If the ad contains inaccurate or misleading information, it may be difficult to enroll the desired number of participants or to meet the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the study. This can impact the validity and reliability of the study results.

Overall, misinformation can cause a range of problems when using digital advertising to recruit participants for clinical trials. It’s important to carefully fact-check the information included in the ad and to provide potential participants with accurate and comprehensive information to minimize the risk of misinformation and its potential consequences.