Using 'Explorachoc' to engage the public with clinical trials and health services research

Using 'Explorachoc' to engage the public with clinical trials and health services research

Public engagement activity at Explorathon

On 30 September 2016, our team of public engagers took to a street in Aberdeen to run 'Explorachoc' as part of the University's annual Explorathon/European Researchers' Night, which involves an exciting series of activities and events hosted across the city.

This year, following a foray into public engagement at the May Festival, where we piloted a series of health services research-related activities, we designed and ran a two-arm trial. We enticed passers though Aberdeen's 'golden zone', so-called for its high footfall, to participate in ‘Explorachoc’. We used coloured balls and chocolates to: demonstrate the randomisation process used in clinical trials; engage members of the public in conversations about clinical trials and health services research to solicit their perceptions and views; and recruit to a public involvement panel. We also used costumes and props to re-enact James Lind’s scurvy trial.

As well as having a lot of fun, we engaged with some ~500 people, had over 300 participants in 'Explorachoc' and recruited more than 70 volunteers to be contacted for follow up involvement in our research.

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