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A step towards equitable clinical trial recruitment: a protocol for the development and preliminary testing of an online prostate cancer health information and clinical trial matching tool.



Recruitment of a diverse participant pool to cancer clinical trials is an essential component of clinical research as it improves the generalizability of findings. Investigating and piloting novel recruitment strategies that take advantage of ubiquitous digital technologies has become an important component of facilitating broad recruitment and addressing inequities in clinical trial participation. Equitable and inclusive recruitment improves generalizability of clinical trial outcomes, benefiting patients, clinicians, and the research community. The increasing prevalence of online connectivity in the USA and use of the Internet as a resource for medical information provides an opportunity for digital recruitment strategies in cancer clinical trials. This study aims to measure the acceptability, preliminary estimates of efficacy, and feasibility of the Trial Library intervention, an Internet-based cancer clinical trial matching tool. This study will also examine the extent to which the Trial Library website, designed to address the linguistic and literacy needs of broader patient populations, influences patient-initiated conversations with physicians about clinical trial participation.


This is a study protocol for a non-randomized, single-arm pilot study. This is a mixed methods study design that utilizes the statistical analysis of quantitative survey data and the qualitative analysis of interview data to assess the participant experience with the Trial Library intervention. This study will examine (1) acceptability as a measure of participant satisfaction with this intervention, (2) preliminary measure of efficacy as a measure of proportion of participants with documented clinical trial discussion in the electronic medical record, and (3) feasibility of the intervention as a measure of duration of clinical visit.


The principles that informed the design of the Trial Library intervention aim to be generalizable to clinical trials across many disease contexts. From the ground up, this intervention is built to be inclusive of the linguistic, literacy, and technological needs of underrepresented patient populations. This study will collect essential preliminary data prior to a multi-site randomized clinical trial of the Trial Library intervention.

Trial registration

This study has received institutional approval from the Committee of Human Subjects Research at the University of California, San Francisco.

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