Someone who wants to search for clinical trials will frequently discover the clinicaltrials.gov website, the registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the US and around the world. Should he then use it? It is not sure. For example, if the patient wants to find suitable trials, he can be rapidly disappointed by [...]
Someone who wants to search for clinical trials will frequently discover the clinicaltrials.gov website, the registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the US and around the world. Should he then use it? It is not sure.
For example, if the patient wants to find suitable trials, he can be rapidly disappointed by the selections he must do or by the effort to understand the medical terms. For him it is much more suitable to use a patient-friendly website with which he feels more comfortable and more efficient.
But the road to this kind of websites is tortuous. Indeed, with Google and other generalist search engines, with common key words, this patient will find at the top of the results the clinicaltrials.gov
and he will probably not find at all the more specific websites. And this situation is not going to change rapidly; indeed chart 1 and 2 from Insight#1
, are showing a significative difference between clinicaltrials.gov
and the other clinical trials search websites, as far as the authority of the sites and the external links are concerned (metrics that impact dramatically the ranking in search results).
So, it is a fact that clinicaltrials.gov is a search engine friendly website.
Other clinical trials search websites are less search engine friendly and more patient friendly. Or less patient friendly and more researcher friendly.
To give you a clear image, this post offers you to bring together all the most important websites dedicated to clinical trials search tools and to order their characteristics.
To create it, let us consider the following categories: search engine friendly, social media friendly, patient and researcher friendly.
To order the sites in the first two categories I have used the results from Chart 4 in Insight#1
and respectively from the table in Insight#2
To order the sites in the patient friendly websites category, I have used offers from different sites. These offers are as follows:
-search facilities: email updates, alerts
-search options like maps, search suggestions
-additional ressources to help understanding
-medical and non-medical facts explained
-iphone applications, twitter search
-standardized listings, layman terms.
To make it simple, let us say that sites with all of these offers are 100 % patient-friendly; other sites are 75% or 50% patient friendly.
In the researcher friendly category, the sites offer registries such as WHO
; the sites that claim to be dedicated to both researchers and patients are ClinicalStudyResults
. For the time being this kind of sites is in evolution, too, some actors working already in specific offers like personalized spaces to manage their trials.
With these considerations, here is the table with needed highlights to choose clinical trials websites:
Finally, note that the sources of these tools are different, so for better results use more than one tool.