Interested in Participating in Clinical Trails? Look To Twitter To Be Recruited

For years, studies have found that Black people have a profound mistrust of doctors and scientists. Consequently, we participate in clinical trials at far lower rates than other ethnic groups, however, a new study suggests Twitter might help boost the number of cancer patients who enroll in clinical trials of potential treatments.

A number of cancer centers and cancer care groups use Twitter, the online social networking service, to provide health information and education. But it wasn’t known how much information about cancer clinical trials was available on Twitter.

To find out, researchers analyzed more than 1,500 tweets that contained the term “lung cancer” over the course of two weeks.

More than half of the tweets (56 percent) were about giving and receiving mental support or about prevention. However, nearly 18 percent were about clinical trials, and 42 percent of them were tweeted by individuals such as patients, health professionals, and patient advocates.

“We were surprised to see that after dialogues concerning support and prevention, the next largest category of