Optimization of Internet and Social Media Policy to Improve Research Study Recruitment and Retention Rates
Optimizing internet and social media policies in university, IRB, and institution policies is vital to improving research study recruitment and retention rates. Use of the internet has increased rapidly since it’s development in 1990- within 8 years of Facebook launching, it reached over one billion users. However, the research community has not used this power source to leverage the needs of research- particularly to obtain biospecimens and carry out studies. The purpose of this research is to find a way for institutions to better use the internet and social media for advertising and recruitment purposes, ultimately bettering research success through decreased sample collection time as well as quicker clinical trial enrollment.
Based on literature review, legal analysis, and qualitative document coding of university IRB policies, it is evident that further internet and social media guidance is needed. The research community has not fully adopted the use of social media, particularly for recruitment purposes. The lack of policies and comprehensive guidance around research study advertising policies is hindering the speed and effectiveness of drug development. Implementation of policy to provide more clear boundaries for research advertising would increase public knowledge of the research to clinical trial pathway, as well as improve recruitment and retention rates of studies, ultimately reducing recruitment costs, improving personalized medicine, limiting therapeutic misconception, and speeding up the research process.