ISR's "Social Media: Best Practices and Strategic Use in Patient Recruitment"

January 10, 2013
Jeremy Klein

Applied Clinical Trials

The following is data points are from ISR’s newly released “Social Media: Best Practices and Strategic Use in Patient Recruitment

Resourcing for Patient Recruitment Activities:
Outsourcing of patient recruitment activities remains commonplace (73%). Where are those activities being sourced? Fifty-one percent are managed by multi-service CROs, followed by in-house resources (27%), and specialized patient recruitment firms (19%).

In 2015, the patient recruitment professionals we spoke to anticipate a modest change to come in the scaling down of in-house resources and uptick in the use of 3rd-party recruitment specialists.

Regulatory Ambiguity Major Barrier to Social Media Adoption:
Recruitment professionals are, perhaps understandably, being cautious in their approach to social media because they don’t want the rug pulled out from under them by regulatory bodies who later issue guidance for its use. Of respondents in ISR’s survey, 66% percent said their organization does not have policies in place regarding the use of social media for patient recruitment.

Industry Adoption of Social Media for Patient Recruitment:
Data indicate 17% of respondent companies are either “avoiding” social media or have “abandoned” it after having tried it. Similarly, another 17% report their companies are quite aggressive, describing social media as “well entrenched” or that their company is “rolling the strategy out into many clinical trials.” Much more commonly, though, 67% of respondents report their companies are either “evaluating” the strategy or “testing” the strategy.

Also available in ISR’s report:

  • Effectiveness of social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

  • Profile of the "ideal clinical trial" for recruitment via social media provides characteristics of well- and poorly-suited studies for social media use

  • Use of and satisfaction with specific 3rd party service providers for social media patient recruitment

  • Anticipated growth of the use of social media for patient recruitment and barriers to adoption

ISR’s report is based on data compiled from a survey of 104 patient recruitment professionals. More information on their website.

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