How Often Physicians Refer Minority Patients To Clinical Trials

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

"Factors Influencing Physician Referrals of Patients to Clinical Trials" (.pdf), Journal of the National Medical Association: The study, by University of South Carolina medical researchers, looks at physicians' attitudes and beliefs about recruiting patients to clinical trials, particularly minorities.


Researchers surveyed 200 physicians from areas near clinics that recruited patients for Parkinson's disease. Researchers found that black physicians and physicians with a large minority patient population measured low on the Trust in Medical Researchers Scale, which indicated their likelihood of referring a patient to a clinical trial. Respondents also were more likely to refer a patient to a trial if they had previously referred patients to trials.

The study concludes that the findings "emphasize the importance of developing a trusting relationship with local physicians if investigators expect these physicians to refer their patients to clinical trials" and that the "trust-related barriers for minority-serving physicians, regardless of their own race/ethnicity, seem to mirror the trust-related issues for their minority patients" (Mainous et al., Journal of the National Medical Association, November 2008).

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