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Does it translate? Tips for international clinical trials.

Here at Praxis, we take pride in the creative concepts we develop to recruit clinical trial participants. And while imagery of a man with 10 arms for atopic dermatitis or barbed wire for endometriosis may sound a little strange, all our work is backed by patient insights from our social listening that help us understand exactly how a patient is feeling.

With that said, most of the studies we work on are international, and the materials we create are translated into many languages and distributed around the world. But what happens when a concept doesn’t translate? For example, if we use the headline “Have you tried quitting smoking cold turkey?” chances are that few outside of the US or Canada would understand. Phrases and idioms like this can be difficult to translate, as they often have no meaning in other languages.

In some cases, a phrase or image may even be offensive. A simple thumbs-up may be A-OK stateside, but in parts of West Africa and the Middle East, it’s about the equivalent of holding up a middle finger. Even colors have to be carefully considered. Take red, for example, which evokes very different feelings depending on where you are in the world.

So how do we ensure that patients on every continent feel welcomed by the opportunity of clinical research? In general, we try to keep a finger on the pulse of cultural discrepancies. We also partner with translation agencies to ensure all recruitment materials are perfectly translated and appropriate for any culture – because it’s all about putting the patient first.

For more about Praxis and how we can support your international trials, get in touch today.