Sources of Volunteer's Perception and Decision to Participate in the Prime-Boost HIV Vaccine Trial
The world's largest preventive HIV vaccine trial enrolled 16,402 volunteers between September 2003 to December 2005 in Chon Buri and Rayong Provinces. Information sources that help potential volunteers understand the trial and enable them to voluntarily decide to participate in the project are keys for success. This study used a standardized questionnaire volunteers provided responses about the source from where they received information about the study and that influenced them to join the study. When full recruitment was achieved in December 2005, the sources that influenced and inspired volunteers to voluntarily join the trial were analyzed. The proportions of sources identified at three time points were compared. It was found that overall sources of perception were derived from "other enrolled volunteers" (55.6%), "local health staff" (32.6%), and "recruitment team" (21.9%). Over time the proportion of "enrolled volunteers" significantly increased from 40.2% to 66.6% (p<0.001), in contrast the "recruitment team" as a source decreased from 25.6% to 18.9% (p<0.001). The most cited sources of information leading to decision making, were "local health staff"(35.6%), "screening video" (26.9%), and "other enrolled volunteers" (22.0%). Conclusion: This data demonstrates that "Word of Mouth" from enrolled volunteers might be a powerful invisible force for recruitment.
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