CC BY 4.0 · ACI open 2021; 05(02): e59-e66
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1732406
Research Article

Researcher Perceptions of a Self-Service Online Portal to Facilitate Volunteer Recruitment into Clinical Trials

Srinivas Emani
1  Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
2  Department of Medicine, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
,
Yichuan Grace Hsieh
3  Department of Medicine, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
4  Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
,
Greg Estey
2  Department of Medicine, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
,
Holly M. Parker
2  Department of Medicine, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
,
Xiaofeng Zhang
2  Department of Medicine, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
,
Karen Donelan
5  Department of Medicine, Health Policy Research Center, Mongan Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
,
Jeanhee A. Chung
3  Department of Medicine, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
4  Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Abstract

Background Recruitment of volunteers is a major challenge for clinical trials. There has been increasing development and use of Internet-based portals in recruitment for clinical research. There has been little research on researcher use and perceptions of these portals.

Objectives This study evaluated researcher perceptions of use of Rally, an Internet-based portal for clinical trial volunteer recruitment.

Methods A cross-sectional survey was developed and implemented to understand researcher perceptions. From theoretical models of information technology use, the survey adopted items in four domains: ease of use, usefulness, facilitating conditions, and self-efficacy. The dependent variable was researchers' behavioral intention to use Rally. The survey captured characteristics of researchers such as gender, age, and role. It was implemented using the REDCap survey tool. An email invitation followed by three reminders was sent to researchers. A hierarchical regression model was applied to assess predictors of behavioral intention.

Results The survey response rate was 35.6% (152 surveys received from 427 contacted researchers). In the hierarchical regression model, facilitating conditions and self-efficacy predicted behavioral intention (F (4,94) = 6.478; p <0.001). The model explained 21.6% of the variance in behavioral intention (R-square change = 21.3%, p <0.001).

Conclusion Facilitating conditions and self-efficacy predicted researchers' behavioral intention to use Rally for volunteer recruitment into clinical trials. Future research should document best practices and strategies for enhancing researcher use of online portals for volunteer recruitment.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

This research was exempted from review by the Mass General Brigham IRB, the ethics board overseeing research at our institution.


Author Contributions

We confirm that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the named authors and that there are no other persons who satisfied the criteria for authorship but are not listed. We further confirm that the order of authors listed in the manuscript has been approved by all of us.




Publication History

Received: 14 July 2020

Accepted: 03 June 2021

Publication Date:
15 September 2021 (online)

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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