Editorial Panelists Provide Key Voices Behind CISCRP Lay Language Trial Results Summaries

CISCRP continues its commitment to effective communication for patients through its editorial panel process within the Communicating Trial Results Program.

The editorial panel process goes to the heart of CISCRP’s mission: to ensure that health communication is unbiased, non-promotional, and easy to understand. Since the program’s inception in 2011, our goal has been to deliver the highest quality materials to patients, in language they can easily understand and relate to. Engaging editorial panelists of diverse backgrounds is essential to providing that.

Patients have expressed a strong preference that lay summaries do not come directly from sponsors or places that may have a conflict of interest, but rather, from independent organizations. Since lay language is our goal, each trial results summary is aimed to reach the sixth to eighth grade reading level. Every trial results summary that CISCRP oversees must be reviewed by at least one medical professional in the specific therapeutic area being covered in the summary, a patient advocate, an internal reviewer, and a patient.

“Editorial panels are an integral supplement to the medical writing, cultural competency, and health literacy expertise that goes into creating a quality lay summary. Panelist relate the patient perspective, providing insights that improve the quality of communication to trial participants,” says Laurin Mancour, Communicating Trial Results Account Representative.

Members of the CISCRP Communicating Trial Results team utilize an extensive network of medical professionals as well as a network of non-profits or patient advocacy organizations to identify potential editorial panelists. These panelists review the lay language summary, as if they were a participant in the study it addresses, and provide feedback based on content and language.

Patients who serve on panels enjoy playing a meaningful role in helping improve health communications for others. Some have said that they wish they had received a trial results summary after they participated in trials.

Cyrus Gill, a recent editorial panelist, chose to serve on the panel after losing his father to stage IV lung cancer. According to Gill, the field of lung cancer has exploded over the past eleven years. Regarding clinical trials, he claims, “Providing results should be a consistent practice by industry to provide greater transparency in research practices, improve perception, and increased the likelihood that future study participants will be more likely to participate in future trials.”

Our need for strong editorial panelists continues as our Communicating Trial Results program continues to flourish.

If you are interested in becoming an editorial panelist, please contact Susannah Buzard at sbuzard@ciscrp.org for more information.

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