The impact of patient education on consideration of enrollment in clinical trials
© 2018 Frontline Medical Communications. All rights reserved. Background Advances in clinical care depend on well-designed clinical trials, yet the number of adults who enroll is suboptimal. Objective To evaluate whether providing brief educational material about clinical trials would increase willingness to participate. Methods From October 23, 2015, through November 12, 2015, 1511 adults in the United States completed an anonymized electronic survey in a single-group, cross-sectional-design study to measure the impression of and willingness to enroll in a hypothetical cancer clinical trial before and after reading brief educational material on the topic. Results Participants had a worse impression of and were less likely to enroll in a clinical trial before reading the material. Most participants (86.2%) noted that the educational material was believable, easy to understand (84.8%), and included information that was new (81.5%). After reading the material, the overall impression of clinical trials improved (mean standard deviation [SD], 0.42; 95% confidence interval [CI] , 0.35-0.50). This improved outlook was greater among participants with a lower level of completed education (Pinteraction < .001). Education level effect was no longer significant after reading the document. Similar results were observed for likeliness of enrolling. Limitations The study was not randomized, so it is uncertain if the increase in interest and likelihood of enrolling in a clinical trial was solely a result of the intervention; the findings may not be generalizable to a canceronly cohort, and only English-speaking participants were included. Conclusion Participants were receptive of educational material and expressed greater interest and likelihood of enrolling in a clinical trial after reading the material. The information had a greater effect on those with less education, but it increased the willingness of all participants to enroll.
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