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BACKGROUND: Explainer animations are a means to communicate aspects of clinical trials to participants in a more engaging and accessible way. Delivered well these have the potential to enhance recruitment and retention. The range of media technology used to deliver this material is expanding rapidly but is highly fragmented. Usage of explainer animations across the UK is unknown, the aim of this research was to determine current usage across the 52 registered UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) to understand the current landscape and any barriers that could be preventing wider uptake of this functionality. METHODS: A survey link was emailed to all UKCRC CTU Directors and Trial Management Leads to ascertain current usage of explainer animations within their CTU. The survey ran between 01 February 2023 and 07 March 2023. RESULTS: Responses were received from 35 CTUs-representing a response rate of 67%. 24 CTUs (69%) reported that they had created/used at least one explainer animation within their unit, although the usage, cost, length and production activities varied among the units. CONCLUSIONS: The survey showed that a high proportion of the UKCRC CTUs have used explainer animations to provide information to participants about clinical studies. For those not using the technology yet, the most common reasons cited were a lack of expertise, lack of resources and costs to produce them. One of the desired outcomes of this project is the creation of a free-to-use library of animations to encourage wider uptake and avoid duplication.

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Clinical trials unit, Digital tool, Explainer animation, Survey