Several web-based search engines have been developed to assist individuals to find clinical trials for which they may be interested in volunteering. However, these search engines may be difficult for individuals with low health and computer literacy to navigate. The authors present findings from a usability evaluation of clinical trial search tools with 41 participants across the health and computer literacy spectrum. The study consisted of 3 parts: (a) a usability study of an existing web-based clinical trial search tool; (b) a usability study of a keyword-based clinical trial search tool; and (c) an exploratory study investigating users information needs when deciding among 2 or more candidate clinical trials. From the first 2 studies, the authors found that users with low health literacy have difficulty forming queries using keywords and have significantly more difficulty using a standard web-based clinical trial search tool compared with users with adequate health literacy. From the third study, the authors identified the search factors most important to individuals searching for clinical trials and how these varied by health literacy level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences