Patients’ motivations for participating in cardiovascular clinical trials : a local perspective

Burgess, L. J. ; Sulzer, N. U. ; Hoosain, F. ; Leverton, N. ; Bliganut, S. ; Emanuel, S. (2009-08)

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Objective: To investigate patients’ motivations for participating in cardiovascular clinical trials. Methods: Patients attending TREAD Research, located within Tygerberg Hospital, Parow, Western Cape, between January 2005 and May 2006 were approached to participate in the study. Consenting patients were given a validated questionnaire to complete in their home language. All questionnaires were anonymous and 250 consecutive patients completed the questionnaire. They provided basic demographic data and rated their response to 18 statements concerning factors that may or may not have influenced their decision to participate in a clinical trial. Results: The mean (± SD) age of subjects was 56.3 ± 10.9 years. A large percentage of the respondents were unemployed (66.5%). Access to medical care was a motivation for the majority of patients (90.5%). Ninety-six per cent of patients appreciated the regular follow up they received as trial participants; 90% of patients entered the trial to receive medication, which they could otherwise not afford. A substantial 98% of patients participated to learn more about their disease. Almost all (99%) wanted to further the scientific understanding of their condition. A reassuring 94% of subjects felt that they were not pressurised into the study; 80% of patients disagreed that participation in clinical trials was an easy way to obtain money. Conclusions: Access to medical care and making a contribution to scientific knowledge are two of the most common motivations for participation in cardiovascular clinical trials. The role of remuneration is relatively unimportant.

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