Can the challenges of trial participation be better understood and addressed by re-framing research participation as a behaviour? A team from HSRU are leading research within an international project that aims to use behavioural science to understand and improve participation in clinical trials.

Dr Katie Gillies is leading a work package that aims to analyse audio-recorded recruitment consultations across a range of trials using a theory guided assessment. Considerable research has explored retrospective reports of the factors guiding research participation decisions, but little work has actually observed the recruitment consultations themselves. This work package will describe the recruitment strategies, from a behavioural and shared-decision making perspective, that are used during trial recruitment consultations.

The project, funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research, is being led by Dr Jamie Brehaut based at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. The 4-year project brings together methodologists, trialists, health psychologists, patients, and clinicians from a range of specialties and across a range of countries. The project will develop theory-informed, participant-oriented guidance and tools to help trialists and patient organisations optimise clinical trial participation.