By Kanya Ndaki, Deputy Editor of PlusNews, Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
There is definitely a hunger for information about clinical results among the public. Researchers sometimes mistakenly assume that their work isn’t necessarily of interest to the average person. But trials are conducted on the ordinary man on the street. Trial participants are ordinary people. So it’s important to know how these trial results affect us, what the implications are.
As a researcher, however, you have got to have a very clear message. It’s no use inviting a journalist to a clinical site to speak to participants if you’re not clear about what it is you want the journalist to take away with them. You’ve got to communicate your message effectively or else the journalist can come in, see these women as “guinea pigs,” and interpret the trial completely differently.