Defining Research: The Effect of Linguistic Choices on the Intentions to Participate in Clinical Research

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Significant barriers to participant recruitment for clinical research (CR) are related to effective communication, and nurse coordinators are entrusted with being knowledge brokers between investigators and prospective participants. This prospective cohort study sought to identify linguistic choices that could inform and facilitate recruitment efforts. Healthy adults (N = 204) were invited to join an online survey to assess the likelihood of participation in CR based on short and extended definitions of CR. Five short definitions included clinical trial, clinical study, health-related research study, community participatory study, and quality improvement study. The likelihood of participation in CR was the lowest for clinical trial and the highest for health-related research study. However, when only an extended definition was provided, those differences were not observed. A linguistic change from trial to study could lead to positive attitude toward CR and improvements in recruitment. However, ethical implications of linguistic choices should be considered.

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