[Motivation of patients to participate in clinical trials. An explorative survey].
Difficulties in recruiting patients for clinical trials lead to increasing costs, and prolonged implementation of evidences into medical practice. Knowledge about motivation and barriers in potential participants would be helpful to develop successful recruitment strategies. Currently, no systematic research of determining factors affecting the decision to participate in clinical studies is available from German samples. After been given details about a potential participation in a clinical or diagnostic study in nine study centers, patients were recruited for an additional structured questionnaire survey concerning motivation and barriers to participation. 62 patients were included into the survey. 95.1% did not have any experience with clinical studies before. 66.1% met the physician explaining the study and asking for informed consent for the first time. Despite this, 96.6% judged the physician to be competent. Family and friends were important for decision-making about the participation in a study. Gender was only of marginal influence. The majority of patients (91.4%) expected advantages of the study for their own. 88% of the patients denominated potential advantages for other patients as an additional motivator. The possibility of adverse events was inferior for patients in decision-making about participation in a clinical trial. Physicians recruiting patients for clinical studies should be well prepared about details of the study and should have adequate time for an introductory conversation in a quiet environment. Including relatives into the introductory conversation may enhance the motivation and therefore the success of recruitment. Potential advantages of a participation for the own treatment and additionally for other patients should be highlighted. Possible side effects should be explained in a realistic manner.DOI: 10.1007/s00063-010-1016-4