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What do primary care nurses and radiation therapists in a Canadian cancer centre think about clinical trials?

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Abstract Rationale, aims and objectives 

Clinical trials are integral to progress in cancer management. While doctors’ attitudes to clinical trials have been documented, there is little or no literature on the perception of trials from the perspective of other clinicians who treat trial patients. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore nurses’ and radiation therapists’ (RTs) perceptions of clinical trials in their cancer centre. Methods 

This study was conducted in a Canadian cancer centre where over 50 clinical trials actively recruit patients at any one time. Nurses and RTs were interviewed to explore their perceptions of clinical trials. Results 

The following themes emerged from the analysis: (1) nurses and RTs perceived a variety of ethical concerns associated with clinical trials; (2) treating patients enrolled in clinical trials was perceived to add to the workload of RTs; (3) nurses and RTs did not perceive meaningful involvement in clinical trials as an option; and (4) the additional workload and ethical concerns associated with trials were off-set by the view that patients’ interests outweighed those of nurses and RTs. Discussion 

Nurses and RTs should be invited to provide input regarding trial procedures and be acknowledged for their work associated with clinical trials.
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Keywords: attitudes; clinical trials; nurse/nursing; qualitative approaches; radiation therapists

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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