Scientific article
Open access

Factors associated with patient willingness to participate in anaesthesia clinical trials: a vignette-based cross-sectional study

Published inBMC Medical research methodology, vol. 20, no. 1, 67
Publication date2020-03-19
First online date2020-03-19

Background: Clinical trials are essential to improve knowledge of anesthesia and perioperative medicine. Unfortunately, many studies face participant-recruitment issues and fail to include the planned number of participants. There is limited published data about how information delivered about the study or how the experiences and attitudes of prospective participants influence willingness to participate. The purpose of this study was to identify such factors in the domain of anesthesia care.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study at the Geneva University Hospitals (Switzerland) using a newly developed paper-based questionnaire on a sample of outpatients with a recent hospital stay and that were aged over 18 years, confident speaking French and free of any disease that could hinder participation. We explored patient personal factors, such as current health, past exposure to clinical research and anesthesia, as well as study-related factors. Six different scenarios for clinical studies were assessed. Linear regression modeling was used to assess the specific association between personal and study-related factors and willingness to participate in the studies described in the scenarios.

Results: On the 1318 eligible patients, 398 fully completed the questionnaire. Multivariable adjustment revealed that factors related to altruistic values (β, 9.6, 95% CI 3.4 to 15.7, P = 0.002), to the feeling of benefiting from a more effective treatment (β, 4.7, 95% CI 0.2 to 9.2, P = 0.041) and to the absence of fear about double blinding (β, 5.7, 95% CI 1.3 to 10.2, P = 0.012) were positively associated with willingness to participate. Conversely, concerns about drug-related adverse effects (β, - 11.7, 95% CI - 16.9 to - 6.5, P < 0.001) and anxiety about surgery (β, - 5.2, 95% CI - 10.0 to - 0.5, P = 0.031) were negatively associated with willingness to participate.

Conclusion: Our study was based on vignettes illustrating typical scenarios of clinical trials performed in anesthesia. However, their similarities with real studies still remains hypothetical and our results should be interpreted as such. Nevertheless, the study contributes to improve understanding of factors that may act as incentives or barriers to participation in clinical trials. It highlights the importance of providing appropriate information and reassurance to patients.

  • Anesthesia
  • Clinical trials
  • Willingness to participate, reasons for refusal
  • Adult
  • Anesthesia
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Participation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland
Citation (ISO format)
NOIRMAIN, Caroline et al. Factors associated with patient willingness to participate in anaesthesia clinical trials: a vignette-based cross-sectional study. In: BMC Medical research methodology, 2020, vol. 20, n° 1, p. 67. doi: 10.1186/s12874-020-00949-5
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
Secondary files (1)
ISSN of the journal1471-2288

Technical informations

Creation01/04/2022 3:36:00 PM
First validation01/04/2022 3:36:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 2:31:30 AM
Status update03/16/2023 2:31:29 AM
Last indexation02/01/2024 7:41:01 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack