Animated messages for clinical trial and medical research education: A test of multimedia communication strategies

I am testing the effects of different types of messages (animations versus text-based messages, with and without visuals) focused on key concepts relevant to participation in medical research studies (e.g., randomization in clinical trials, the use of placebos, how research participants are protected from potential abuses, and steps to enroll) compared to written materials created by the National Institute for Health. Dependent variables included knowledge, attitudes, and intentions to participate in clinical trials and research studies, as well as message processing. Over 1200 cancer patients participated in the study through a Qualtrics panel. This research project has produced several key insights. First, it adds to the base of evidence of the effectiveness of using lay-language materials over standard written materials to explain key concepts relevant to clinical trials and research study participation. Second, my dissertation delineates the circumstances when the use of animations is an effective strategy for educating patients about clinical trials and medical research. I propose and test “cognitive absorption” as a key discriminant variable to understand the effects of the cognitive processing of animations. I am verifying whether “cognitive absorption” is a better outcome measure than “transportation” when studying the effects of animations. Third, my dissertation also develops and tests a new, integrated model for message processing that advances our theoretical understanding of how contextual, individual, and message-related variables interact to affect patients’ understanding and intentions to act when exposed to a multimedia message.

At this link you can find some of the messages I am evaluating: com.miami.edu/clinical-trial