BACKGROUND: Lower than expected recruitment and retention rates are common challenges in parenting trials-particularly for community-based trials targeting parents of young children that rely on face-to-face recruitment by frontline workers. Recruitment requires parental informed consent, yet information sheets have been criticized for being lengthy and complex, and particularly challenging for parents with low literacy. Recent innovations include 'talking head' information videos. This paper aims to explore parent perceptions of using a 'talking head' video to support informed consent, recruitment, and retention procedures in parenting trials.
METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with a sample of 24 mothers recruited after their final follow-ups in two different parenting trials in Denmark. Before consenting to participate in the trials, parents were invited to view a video of a member of the study team giving information about the study, and again before the interviews for the current study. The audio data was transcribed and thematic analysis was conducted.
RESULTS: We identified three overarching themes: (1) general impression of the video, (2) thoughts on participation in research, and (3) recruitment and retention. Participants were generally positive in their appraisal of the two talking head informational videos. We found that participants felt that a mix of paper-based and video-based sources of information would enable them to make an informed choice about whether to participate in a research study. We also found that a professionally produced video featuring a key member of the study team produced a feeling of commitment to the study that could impact retention rates.
CONCLUSIONS: Informational videos are acceptable to parents; however, co-production or participant/patient involvement in the development of such videos is recommended. Informational videos may not increase recruitment but have the potential for improving retention. Key design recommendations are to ensure a 'professional' look to the video, to supplement videos with paper-based information, to keep the length to < 3 min, and for the 'talking head' part to feature a key member of the study team.
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