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Engaging with caregivers to improve patient recruitment to clinical trials


As caregivers are the people who look after patients in need of assistance, in many situations, they can be a key influencer in a patient’s decision making process. For this reason, it’s vital that caregivers are sufficiently educated to help support the people they’re caring for, which includes having the most up to date, correct and important clinical trial information.

Are you engaging with caregivers correctly?

65% of caregivers are female in the US with an average age of 69. Does your current clinical trial marketing and advertising speak to caregivers? Finding the right time to interact with them can be a difficult thing to achieve. Patient engagement companies can help with this, but here are three tips to get you started:

1. Keep clinical trials patient friendly

A long process is a burden. Though it’s understandable that clinical trials require some amount of effort, keeping the process organised helps carers make time for it and ensure the patient remains engaged on the study.

2. Build an online community for caregivers

Being a caregiver and getting involved in a clinical trial can be demanding, time consuming and stressful. By giving caregivers a network they can relate to, they’ll likely be more comfortable and willing to collaborate with clinical trials. If you give caregivers a safe place to communicate their challenges, you’ll be able to tap into important insights that can drive ideas and solutions to improve the clinical trial experience.

3. Be where the caregivers are

Caregivers are often going online to read articles, research and blogs to do what they can to help and understand conditions. They’re also psychologically invested in finding a cure or relief to their patients, a point in life when positivity is rife. There will also be potential for a longer life-time value of a patient engaging in clinical trials if the carer is given knowledge and updates from the start and has been known to improve retention to clinical trials.

Are you engaging with caregivers in the way they like to be engaged?

The typical caregiver gives up 20 hours of their time to look after patients. On top of that, some have other jobs, as well as their own lives. So it’s important that you make their interaction with your study as easy as possible. Start by asking yourself: Is information about your study easy to access and engage with? One way you can promote yourself in a caregiver’s life successfully is to use a mix of digital and human communication:

  • 80% of businesses are set to feature a Chatbot solution to their marketing plans by the end of 2020 - this is now predicted to be even more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Chatbot can answer simple questions that the caregiver has at any time they require.

  • To add the human element to your FAQs, have a video call set up. This might be daunting to the older generation, but by sending them a simple link they can use it with ease. Alternatively, record Q&A sessions which they can access at a time convenient for them.

Remember, caregivers often feel like they’re not seen or valued, so keeping them engaged and involved can really help build relationships.

Caregivers are more than they’re given credit for. They’re not only the physical support system for patients, but also the soul and mind. They take on many forms of caregiving and it is our duty to make understanding and accessing clinical trials easy. We owe that at the very least to all the unsung caregiving heroes.

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