Factors and Outcomes of Decision Making for Cancer Clinical Trial Participation

Posted: Oct 26, 2011
Oncol Nurs Forum. 38. 5. 542-52.
KEYWORDS: Knowledge/Attitudes/Beliefs, Provider-Patient Relationship, Attitudes, Consent, Cancer, Phase 0,1,2, Phase 3-4


Until more information is available on cancer clinical trial decision-making preferences, the best practice may be to ask patients about their preferences and individualize how they are approached.

Why this item may be useful

This study examined the factors and outcomes of decision making for cancer clinical trial participation. A model, entitled the Research Decision Making Model, was tested and is included in the article. It was determined that when all variables in the model were considered together, they predicted cancer clinical trial participation and whether or not a patient was satisfied with this decision. This study also demonstrated that shared (collaborative) decision making is preferred by most patients who consider joining a cancer clinical trial. The authors suggest that more research should be done to explore the decision-making process, which may ultimately enhance clinical trial enrollment rates and patient satisfaction.


  • The sample consisted of patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer who were seen at a comprehensive cancer center.
  • Participants were mailed a 12-page survey that examined factors related to the decision-making process regarding participation in clinical trials and outcomes of those decisions.
  • Components of the Research Decision Making Model include disease context, sociodemographics, patient preferences, understanding of risk, and information.
  • When variables in the model were looked at separately, age was significantly associated with the decision to join a clinical trial (most respondents who joined clinical trials were significantly older), and hope and trust in the healthcare system were the only significant predictors of whether a person would be satisfied with the decision to participate in a cancer clinical trial.