People who have experienced clinical trials for medicines have a more positive awareness of them than those who have not, a recent survey showed.
Korea National Enterprise for Clinical Trials (KONECT)한국임상시험산업본부(Director Ji Dong-hyun지동현) released the results of its survey conducted on 1,000 healthy people and 300 patients and their family members last year, to know about the popular perception of clinical tests.
KONECT made telephone polls on healthy people after selecting samples through random digit dialing (RDD), while holding one-on-one interviews with the patients and their family members through quota sampling, at the outpatients’ waiting rooms of university hospitals.
According to the results, the awareness of clinical trials among patients and their families were far higher, with 94.0 percent, than that of healthy people, 82.7 percent.
Asked about their “thinking and attitude” on clinical tests, patients and their family members also showed more positive views of it, with 58.7 percent, compared with 43.5 percent for ordinary people.
The two groups cited similar reasons for their positive awareness.
All positive respondents cited as the first reason that clinical trials would “help develop new drugs and advance the medical industry.”
Unlike popular belief, a higher share of healthy people cited the support for medical expense as the reason for participation than that of patients and their family members.
"It suggests that patients put greater meaning to medical value than economic reasons when it comes to clinical trials,” KONECT said.
There were differences in the awareness of clinical trials among different age groups.
About 50 percent of people in their 40s to 60s were positive, but only 40 percent of 20-something respondents were positive. As the reasons of negative awareness, the largest share cited concerns about side effects, followed by thinking that subjects of clinical trials are like “maruta” (a Japanese word meaning a log), and negative media reports about clinical tests.
KONECT attributed it to low prevalence rate among the youth, their relative lack of experience participating in disease-related clinical trials, and their greater exposure to SNS and mass media than older generations.
And people’s interests in clinical trials have a close relationship with their experiences of participating in clinical trial experiences.
According to the survey, those who had taken part in in clinical trials showed far higher interests in clinical trials (61.1 percent) than those who did not (30.8 percent).
And participants (48.9 percent) were also more positive about the safety of the clinical trials than those with no experiences (23.8 percent).
“We will engage in activities for patients, including providing clinical trial-related information, to improve popular awareness of clinical trials based on the survey results,” Director Ji said. “By giving correct information about clinical trials, we will try to improve the unnecessarily negative awareness, and take the lead in creating an environment for safe, patient-oriented clinical trials through developing educational programs for people engaged in clinical trials.
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