Let’s Talk About Clinical Trials: The #AusCT Tweetchat
Make no mistake. I am passionate about the value of clinical trials for the individuals that participate, for researchers and industry hoping to develop better therapeutic options, for clinicians seeking evidence for what works, and for the community in general seeking treatment and cure for their health issues. That passion sees me constantly looking for opportunities to spread the message, with friends, family and others. After all, you never know when that conversation might be recalled in the future, prompting them to consider a trial they have been approached about, or have them ask the question ‘is there a clinical trial suitable for me?’
Some 75-80% of clinical trials face delays in recruiting enough participants, and increasing community awareness of clinical trials is seen as one way of rectifying this statistic. Many see government-led and funded public awareness campaigns as the answer. While such campaigns would no doubt help, my personal view is that every single person who has ever experienced or seen the value of clinical trials should openly share that with others, and be a part of the solution.
There are many organisations and individuals that try to raise awareness of research and clinical trials. Just a few examples of such efforts just this year include the raft of events during May building up to International Clinical Trials Day (May 20), the CISCRP-INC Research Ideathon, the expanded AustralianClinicalTrials website, the growing #WhyWeDoResearch campaign (and of course #WhyClinicalTrialsMatter).
My latest plan to get people talking is to hold a twitter chat (also called a tweetchat) where people and organisations can share their thoughts on a number of clinical trial related questions in a live conversation. This chat will be held on Fri 18 Nov, from 12.30-1.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), using the hashtag #AusCT. I am crowdsourcing the questions we should discuss, so would value your votes on the proposed questions at the end of this post.
If you are a completely new to Twitter, then you might like to check out our previous post on how to join Twitter.
For those unfamiliar with tweetchats, I reached out to the Twitterverse for some guidance. Thanks to Marie Ennis-O’Connor (@JBBC) for sending a link to @Buffer’s Tweetchat guide, and the Central Pain Syndrome Foundation (@CentralPain) for sending a link to @DevSEOChat’s Tweetchat guide. If after reading these guides you’d like to see a tweetchat in action, check out Symplur’s very long list of regular Healthcare related tweetchats.
In my experience, moderators have always been very welcoming of new participants to their tweetchats (just as you will be welcome at #AusCT), and as a participant, I have enjoyed connecting with and learning from others passionate about a topic I am interested in. With any luck, #AusCT will bring together a community of current/former trial participants, community groups, researchers, trial networks, trial funders, medical research advocates, industry and government to talk about clinical trials. I hope you will join me, and vote below (or if the survey doesn’t appear below, then online) for the questions you’d like to discuss.
— Janelle (@JanelleBowden, @WhyCTsMatter)