A study by the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation shows significant improvement in public perceptions of clinical trial safety, trust in the motives of research professionals, and appreciation for trial volunteers. The study also offers insights into participant behaviors including those who drop out of trials prematurely.
The online study, conducted between January and March 2013 among a global community of health information seekers and research participants, assessed changes in public perceptions and attitudes about clinical research and gathered insights into study participation experiences. Nearly 6,000 surveys were completed.
Key findings include:
- Whereas 45% of respondents said that they did not trust research sponsors to inform the public quickly about safety concerns in 2005 (from Harris Interactive poll), only 28% do so in 2013;
- 46% of respondents in the 2005 poll believed volunteers were gambling with their health by participating in a trial; while only 23% of current respondents agreed with that statement;
- The Internet surpassed newspapers, radio and television as the largest source for information about clinical research although the majority (60%) of study volunteers are not using social media to learn about clinical research.
- Rather than searching for another trial opportunity, a high percentage of patients who were ineligible decided not to participate at all.
“This critical study informs an enterprise now focusing on patient-centered research programs,” said Kenneth Getz, lead study investigator and director of sponsored research programs at Tufts’ Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD). “Despite an industry-wide desire to better understand and engage patients, there hasn’t been a large scale assessment of their attitudes and perceptions conducted since 2005,” said Getz.