June 15, 2023, Durham, NC – iRT is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health – Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) to develop an interactive, web-based toolkit which will provide parents with information about clinical trials.

Parents are an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to deciding whether their child should participate in a pediatric clinical trial. iRT aims to develop a resource that will provide parents with information and skills that can help them successfully navigate pediatric clinical trials with their children as well as facilitate their decision to participate. The new, web-based toolkit will provide parents with important information about clinical trials and opportunities to practice and build communication, information-gathering, and shared decision-making skills. The toolkit will be available in both English and Spanish versions.

Drs. Alison Parker and Tracy Scull, Co-Principal Investigators and Research Scientists at iRT, have extensive experience developing research-informed, educational resources about pediatric clinical trials. Parker and Scull previously developed two web-based resources, called DigiKnowIt News, to educate children and adolescents about clinical trials and address the benefits and their concerns about participation. A randomized controlled trial found that youth who used DigiKnowIt News demonstrated significantly higher knowledge about clinical trials, greater positive attitudes related to clinical trials, and more confidence in their knowledge of important aspects of clinical trials.

iRT will develop the parent toolkit with input from multiple Advisory Panels, including parents diverse in ethnicity, race, gender, and levels of research knowledge, as well as with members of Latino/a/x community groups, using a human-centered approach and expert consultant review. Following program development, iRT will conduct a feasibility study of the toolkit with parents and caregivers of youth aged 7 to 17.