The relationship between news media coverage and people volunteering for clinical trials

Document Type



In academic medical centers an untested assumption is that positive media attention aids recruitment of patients into a medical study while negative news reporting is damaging. In this study we examine associations between the amount of newspaper coverage concerning medical research and the number of people who volunteer, and the positive or negative content of the reporting. We find evidence that a positive relationship, though not statistically significant, exists between the volume of media coverage and volunteerism; a positive relationship exists between positive media coverage and volunteerism; and no existence of an inverse relationship between negative news coverage and volunteerism. These results lay a foundation for more in-depth exploration into the role news media play in this type of volunteerism.


Clinical trials; Clinical trials — Reporting; Media; Medicine – Research – Press coverage; Voluntarism


Health Policy | Mass Communication | Medicine and Health | Political Science | Public Health | Social Influence and Political Communication


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