Perceptions and insights on clinical trial participation: results from the 2021 CISCRP study

Jessica Cronin

The results from the latest CISCRP study on perceptions and insights on clinical trial participation are in!

The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to educating and informing the public, patients, medical/research communities, the media and policymakers about clinical research and the role each party plays in the process. Since 2013, CISCRP has been conducting the Perceptions & Insights Study every other year to monitor trends and identify opportunities to better inform and engage the public and patients as partners in the clinical research enterprise.

The latest study from 2021 contains insights from nearly 12 000 individuals from around the world – including over 5500 individuals with experience of participating in clinical trials across diverse therapeutic areas – on various aspects of clinical research. These include the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on awareness and perceptions as well as thoughts on and experiences with clinical trials that require fewer visits (decentralized trials). These results uncover significant new findings on patient engagement preferences and ways to increase access, particularly among under-represented communities.  

Key findings from the 2021 Perceptions & Insights Study include the following.

  • Public trust in research institutions has increased from 2019.
  • The majority of respondents (89%) somewhat agreed or strongly agreed that it is important for sponsors to share clinical trial results to participants in easy-to-understand language. Of the respondents who had participated in a clinical trial, 43% recalled a summary of their trial results being shared with them (up from 32% in 2019).
  • Most respondents (75%), particularly those from under-represented communities, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic increased their overall awareness of clinical research.
  • Individuals from under-represented communities were significantly more likely to cite that knowing pharmaceutical companies employed diverse staff would help to increase their trust in pharmaceutical companies.
  • While most respondents (82%) said that they were willing to participate in clinical research, about one-third of individuals (36%) cited being more willing to participate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Of those who participated in a clinical trial during the pandemic, top changes reported included a shift from in-person visits to virtual clinic visits (over the telephone or computer) and an increase in the use of telemedicine and home trial drug delivery. Only 20% reported that their clinical trial was temporarily stopped. Consistent with prior studies, most clinical trial participants (92%) noted that their trial met or exceeded their expectations, with a significant percentage (95%) willing to participate in another trial in the future – a strong indicator of overall satisfaction.

To review these findings and more from the 2021 Perceptions & Insights Study, CISCRP hosted a webinar in October, available for viewing here, and has posted reports on the CISCRP website here.

Jessica Cronin is a Project Manager in Research Services at CISCRP and was involved in conducting and analysing the 2021 Perceptions & Insights Study.