BackgroundTo address limitations in recruitment and enrollment of diverse, low-literacy patients into prostate cancer clinical trials, we evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of an English and Spanish, Internet-based, multilevel recruitment intervention.
MethodsIntervention components included (1) a low-literacy, bilingual, automated, Internet-based clinical trial matching tool; (2) a bilingual nurse who assisted individuals with questions and enrollment; and (3) a targeted, Internet-based advertising campaign. We evaluated (a) completion of matching tool, (b) expression of interest in a clinical trial, (c) number of patients who matched to clinical trials at a single institution, (d) discussion of risks and benefits of clinical trials (via follow-up interviews), and (e) effect of the advertising on completing the matching tool. Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary estimates of efficacy were measured through user engagement with the matching tool and subsequent qualitative interviews with these same users.
ResultsDuring the 28-week study period, 523 users provided demographic information, 263 were identified with prostate cancer, 192 (73%) matched to at least one clinical trial, and 29 (15.1%) of those who matched provided contact information. During the study period, 17 prostate cancer clinical trials were available for matching. We completed follow-up interviews with 14 of the 29 men who provided contact information. Of the 14, 85.7% discussed the risks and benefits of clinical trials with their physician, and 35.7% enrolled in a clinical trial. The Internet-based advertising campaign resulted in an increased number of matching tool completions.
ConclusionsOur study demonstrates that an Internet-based clinical trial matching tool that is advertised using a targeted Internet-based campaign can provide an effective means to reach diverse, low-literacy patients. When implemented at scale and over a longer duration, such interventions may help increase trial participation among underrepresented populations.