Attitudes of Primary Care Physicians and Specialists About Cancer Clinical Trials

A Survey of Texas Physicians

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Abstract of Journal Article -- April 2004

By Armin D. Weinberg, PhD; H. Paul Cooper, MA; Nicte I. Mejia, MD; and Cynthia A. Spiker, MPH

A one-page questionnaire assessing physicians' prior involvement in and attitudes about clinical trials was distributed to primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists practicing in Texas. The survey form was completed and returned by 57 PCPs and 80 specialists. The two physician groups agreed strongly about the value of what can be learned in clinical trials, and agreed that the greatest barriers to participation were paperwork requirements, time constraints, and concern for patient welfare. Both PCPs and specialists were concerned about enrolling patients if they felt that the patients did not understand what was involved. Because PCPs report only a limited experience with clinical trials, a realistic strategy to increase patient accrual involves developing effective educational outreaches to this group of physicians. In general, PCPs are trusted by their patients and can play an important role in providing information and in encouraging participation in appropriate trials.

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