The Effect of Digital Literacy on Participation in Social Media Clinical Trials in Cancer: Tailoring an Informed Consent Process

The Effect of Digital Literacy on Participation in Social Media Clinical Trials in Cancer: Tailoring an Informed Consent Process
Debra Parker Oliver, George Demiris, Karla T. Washington, Kyle Pitzer, Connie Ulrich
Telemedicine and e-Health, 21 Mar 2022
Abstract
Introduction
This study asked: (1) How does digital literacy influence one’s decision to consent to a social media intervention study? (2) What is a brief way to assess individual digital literacy before an individual’s decision to participate in a trial? and (3) How can a consent process be tailored around an individual’s digital literacy level?
Methods
We used an assessment tool to investigate digital literacy of those who chose to consent to a clinical trial and those who did not consent to the clinical trial but agreed to participate in a digital literacy study.
Results
A total of 161 hospice caregivers completed the digital literacy assessment. Older individuals and those who rated themselves as more proficient in the use of technology and social media were more likely to consent to the social media clinical trial.
Conclusions
We found that asking participants to rate their technology skills and social media skills allows researchers to tailor a consent process. For those who are comfortable with technology and social media the traditional process is appropriate. For individuals that rate themselves with weaker technology and social media skills it is important that the consent process includes assurance they will receive adequate support in the use of the technology and the media. The next step is to test the assessment and tailoring of consent processes for a social media clinical trial. Clinical Trial # NCT02929108.

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