Clinical Trial and Research Study Recruiters’ Verbal Communication Behaviors

Susan E. Morgan, Ashton Mouton, Aurora Occa, Jonell Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The lack of accrual to research studies and clinical trials is a persistent problem with serious consequences: Advances in medical science depend on the participation of large numbers of people, including members of minority and underserved populations. The current study examines a critical determinant of accrual: the approach of patients by professional recruiters who request participation in research studies and clinical trials. Findings indicate that recruiters use a number of verbal strategies in the communication process, including translating study information (such as simplifying, using examples, and substituting specific difficult or problematic words), using linguistic reframing or metaphors, balancing discussions of research participation risks with benefits, and encouraging potential participants to ask questions. The identification of these verbal strategies can form the basis of new communication protocols that will help medical and nonmedical professionals communicate more clearly and effectively with patients and other potential participants about research studies and clinical trials, which should lead to increased accrual in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-772
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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