Digitrial is a multimedia product developed by Morph. Based in Kendal, Morph has been producing great digital media to help people communicate better for over a decade.
Digitrial grew out of the TRECA research project. This NIHR funded project was run by the Health Sciences department at the University of York led by Peter Knapp. As part of the project the digital media was implemented on six live trials. In each case the trial was approved by ethics using these materials.
Off the back of this work we have been approached to develop media for other trials and Digitrial has evolved. We have a license from the University of York to deliver the materials that we have developed. We also have an ongoing commitment with the team at York to report on our work and a shared interest in how we can continue to make these products better.
Randomised controlled trials are the best way to determine the effectiveness and safety of healthcare interventions. However, there are very few healthcare trials involving children and adolescents meaning that important clinical decisions are based on evidence extrapolated from trials involving adults. A key barrier to paediatric trials is the high rates of patient (or parent) refusal to participate, though it is possible that this could be reduced by improving the quality of information that they receive about trial participation.
The printed information sheets which are currently used in most trials have been widely criticised for being too long, technical and lacking in visual appeal. Multimedia information (MMI) resources involving text, audio, video and animations have the potential to better inform children and adolescents and their parents about trials, potentially leading to their increased engagement in healthcare trials.