In order to advance medical care, it is necessary to invest resources, both human and financial, in medical research. However, these investments sometimes are not sufficient to ensure the success of research studies. No progress can be made without the participation of patients in research studies and clinical trials. These potential participants are normally identified by their physicians, or by professional recruiters, depending on the patient clinical profile. However, often patients are intimidated by the idea of engaging in clinical trials for several reasons, including the fear of side effects, to the difficulty of understanding specific research-related terms. The main objective of this project was to identify the communication strategies used by recruiters to help patients enroll into medical research projects. Another goal of the study was to identify key information that would help PIs and researchers make more effective decisions in terms of design and methodology. A total of 11 focus groups were conducted in two large, ethnically diverse cities: Indianapolis and Miami (USA). Our analyses indicated that recruiters use a variety of verbal and nonverbal communication strategies to create a relationship with potential participants. In addition, recruiters consider the cultural background of the people they interact with, the environment in which they live, the resources available, and the possible support of family members.
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