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International Clinical Trials

Gaining from Gamification

Much of the data in clinical research to capture the patient voice in clinical trials, observational research, and clinical practice is gathered using questionnaires. However, conventional questionnaire design and, notably, online surveys can be conceived as dull and unengaging, resulting in negative respondent behaviour such as speeding, random responding, lack of attention, and premature termination, ultimately leading to lower quality data (1).

Writing good survey questions may seem deceptively simple. However, the challenges facing questionnaire developers include:
• Getting respondents’ attention
• Getting respondents to read things
• Getting respondents to think
• Getting people to respond

Maintaining the respondent’s engagement is a key factor in ensuring the data quality does not suffer and that a surprisingly long questionnaire can be administered without significant deterioration in the quality of the data, particularly if efforts are made to maintain respondent motivation (2).

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Dr Keith Meadows holds a PhD in psychology from the University of London, UK, and has held academic posts at a number of universities conducting health and market research across Europe. He has a range of experience including development and evaluation of clinical outcome assessment measures, qualitative research, and survey design. Keith founded Health Outcomes Solutions (formally DHP Research & Consultancy) to help healthcare agencies and pharmaceutical companies across a range of conditions get targeted answers to patient behaviour, experience, and outcomes using both traditional and innovative approaches.
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Dr Keith Meadows
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