Physicians and caregivers: Ready and waiting for increased participation in clinical research
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Progressive development of pharmacotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as well as nonpharmacological treatments is critically dependent on the timely recruitment of appropriate subjects for clinical trials. Accordingly, the IMPACT survey sought to determine the level of awareness of clinical trials and the willingness to foster patient involvement/participation in research studies. IMPACT survey participants were recruited via the Internet in equal numbers from 5 European countries—France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. During April and May 2009, 250 caregivers and 500 physicians who agreed to participate in this market-based survey completed a 30-minute Web-based questionnaire that included items concerning awareness of clinical research and willingness to facilitate participation of AD patients in such research. Awareness of local clinical trials amongst both caregivers (24% overall; range by country, 14% to 34%) and physicians (19% overall; range by country, 13% to 30%) was found to be low in all countries surveyed. In contrast, the willingness of physicians to refer patients to, and caregivers to support their participation in, clinical trials was extremely high (98% and 81%, respectively). These results strongly indicate that physicians and caregivers are ready and waiting to become more involved in clinical research. Initiatives to increase awareness of clinical trials amongst caregivers and physicians and to conduct clinical trials within the geographical area of as many potential participants as possible should result in much more effective patient recruitment to AD clinical trials.
Key wordsClinical trials recruitment Alzheimer’s disease caregivers clinical research participation physicians
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