August 22, 2023, Durham, NC –Recruiting youth to participate in pediatric clinical trials can pose challenges for researchers. Many teens have limited knowledge about research and are hesitant to agree to participate. Researchers must locate or develop recruitment materials that explain the clinical trial requirements in a developmentally appropriate and compelling way to inform and educate teens who might be considering participating in a clinical trial. Otherwise, researchers risk being unable to recruit the targeted sample size. When a sufficient number of participants are not recruited and retained in a study, this limits the ability to answer important health questions and adequately prevent and treat the myriad health problems facing youth.

Providing teens with information and resources to learn more about clinical trials may positively influence their decision-making about participating in clinical trials. iRT has developed DigiKnowIt News: Teen, an interactive, multimedia website that can serve as a resource for researchers to use to educate teens about pediatric clinical trials. Once participation in a pediatric clinical trial is explained and demystified, teens can weigh the benefits and risks associated with participation and make informed decisions about being part of the research.

iRT Research Scientists Drs. Alison Parker and Tracy Scull are conducting a randomized controlled trial evaluation of the efficacy of DigiKnowIt News: Teen with parent-teen pairs. Specifically, iRT’s researchers are examining the impact of DigiKnowIt News: Teen on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and self-efficacy as related to pediatric clinical trials, likelihood and willingness to participate in a clinical trial, procedural fears, as well as parent-teen communication quality. The study protocol manuscript, entitled Efficacy of DigiKnowIt News: Teen, a multimedia educational website for adolescents about pediatric clinical trials: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial, was recently published in the Trials journal.

To read the manuscript, visit