University of Sussex

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Clinicians' attitudes towards clinical trials of cancer therapy

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 16:01 authored by Elizabeth FordElizabeth Ford, Valerie JenkinsValerie Jenkins, Lesley FallowfieldLesley Fallowfield, N Stuart, D Farewell, V Farewell
Background:Patient accrual into cancer clinical trials remains at low levels. This survey elicited attitudes and practices of cancer clinicians towards clinical trials. Method:The 43-item Clinicians Attitudes to Clinical Trials Questionnaire was completed by participants in an intervention study aimed at improving multi-disciplinary involvement in randomised trials. Responses from 13 items were summed to form a research-orientation score. Results:Eighty-seven clinicians (78%) returned questionnaires. Physicians, more often than surgeons, chose to prioritise prolonging a patient's life, recruited 50% of patients into trials and attended more research-focussed conferences. Clinicians at specialist centres were more positive about trials with no-treatment arms than those at district general hospitals, more likely to believe clinician, rather than patient reluctance to participate was the greater obstacle to trial accrual, and preferred national and international to local recognition. Clinicians belonging to breast and colorectal teams were less disappointed about not enrolling patients in trials and more accepting of no-treatment arm trials. Research orientation was higher in physicians than surgeons and higher in specialist centres than district hospitals. Conclusions:This study provides greater understanding of clinicians’ attitudes to trials. Results have been used to inform training interventions for clinicians targeting the problem of low and selective accrual.


Publication status

  • Published


British Journal of Cancer




Nature Publishing Group





Page range


Department affiliated with

  • Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C) Publications


IDS Number: 762JE

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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