Primary care physicians' attitudes and beliefs about cancer clinical trials

Posted: Jul 24, 2017
Clin Trials. doi: 10.1177/1740774517717722. [Epub ahead of print]
KEYWORDS: Level of Clinical Trials Knowledge or Awareness, Physician Champions, Attitudes, Cancer


Influencing primary physician behavior after they have formed beliefs about clinical trials is both important and challenging. 

Why this item may be useful

Since primary care physicians often provide their patients' initial referral to cancer treatments, their attitudes and beliefs may have implications for patient access to clinical trial participation. This study assessed knowledge, attitudes, beliefs about, and prior experience with cancer clinical trials using an online survey with primary care physicians in New York City who provide care to minority and underserved populations. The variable of interest was physician interest in training about trials and how physicians may improve trial access for their patients. Despite low levels of past experience and knowledge, respondents had fairly positive attitudes toward trials. Minority primary care physicians were more likely to have an interest in receiving training. It may be possible to enhance interest in training among physicians with less experience and poorer attitudes by encouraging key opinion physician "ambassadors" to share their experiences and positive perspectives with other physicians. 


  • 613 physicians in New York City who primarily serve patients from ethnic and racial minority groups were invited to participate in a 20-minute online survey. 
  • 127 physicians completed the survey.
  • Limitations: convenience sample in one large city, low response rate.