What Makes Patients Join a Clinical Trial?

MARCH 01, 2006

What factors influence patient participation in a free asthma self-management program? To determine what criteria are most important for enrollment, Belgian researchers interviewed 107 outpatients with asthma about their intention to join a program. The patients also completed questionnaires.

Of the participants, 59% reported that they planned to enroll. The researchers found that hospitalization or severity of the disease had little influence on the decision. The patients who had more intense symptoms in the 2 weeks prior to recruitment appeared likely to participate, but the trend was quite poor. The participants with no barriers to program attendance (eg, lack of time or traveling distance) were almost 13 times more likely to join. Another factor that predicted enrollment was the belief in personal benefits from the program, which increased the chances of participation by 8-fold. Higher educational levels and social pressure to improve individual asthma care also were influential. (The findings were reported recently in Chest.)