Oncologic patients’ misconceptions may impede enrollment into clinical trials: a cross-sectional study

Nethanel Asher, Ari Raphael, Ido Wolf, Sharon Pelles, Ravit Geva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Clinical trials are an essential source for advances in oncologic care, yet the enrollment rate is only 2-4%. Patients' reluctance to participate is an important barrier. This study evaluates patients' level of understanding and attitudes towards clinical trials. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the oncology department and day care unit at the oncology division Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel. From January 2015 to September 2016. Two-hundred patients’ currently receiving active anti-cancer therapy at a large tertiary hospital completed an anonymous questionnaire comprised of demographic information, past experience in clinical research and basic knowledge on clinical trials. Results: The majority of respondents did not meet the minimum knowledge level criteria. In those who replied they would decline to participate in a clinical trial, concern were related to potential assignment to the placebo arm, provision of informed consent and trust issues with their oncologist. Those with sufficient knowledge were significantly more interested in participating. Patients with past experience in clinical trials had a higher level of academic education, were less religious, had a better understanding of medical research and were inclined to participate in future research. Conclusions: Misperceptions of clinical trials may contribute substantially to the unwillingness to participate in them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Accrual strategies
  • Cancer clinical trial
  • Cancer patient education
  • Cancer patient misconception
  • Patient knowledge


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