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Published on 24 June 2008

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Motivation for trial participants studied

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Most HIV-infected individuals participating in a clinical trial hope to benefit personally from the research but also understand they are contributing to society, according to a report in the June 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Although there is a growing body of data explaining why individuals enroll in clinical trials, little research has been conducted regarding their motivation for ongoing participation, according to background information in the article.

“Why do patient participants, especially those randomized to a control group, continue to accept the added risks and burdens, eg, additional clinic visits and extra research procedures, that clinical research places on them?” the authors write.

“Answering this question is especially important given the view that clinical research inappropriately exploits patient participants by exposing them to added risks and burdens for the benefit of others.”

David Wendler, PhD, and colleagues at the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, reported group results of a survey of participants in the Evaluation of Subcutaneous Proleukin (Interleukin-2) in a Randomized International Trial (ESPRIT) study.

ESPRIT is a phase III trial comparing antiretroviral medications alone to antiretroviral medications plus interleukin 2 (IL-2), a protein associated with the immune system.

HIV-infected patients from Argentina, Brazil and Thailand who had been enrolled in the study for at least six months responded to the researchers’ questions regarding their motivation.

Archives of Internal Medicine



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