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    We Surveyed 400 Americans on the Subject of Clinical Trials and Received Some Interesting Answers

    By Hannah Drake • January 7, 2021
    survey responses clinical trials

    Recruiting patients is widely considered to be the most difficult part of conducting a clinical trial. Recruiting patients from minority groups is most difficult of all. Why, exactly?

    A great deal has been published on the subject—in bits and pieces—but we had lingering questions. So, in October, par8o commissioned a survey of US consumers regarding their beliefs and perceptions about clinical trials.

    Our objective was to add verifiable, scientifically collected information to the burgeoning conversation around why various segments of the US population will and will not participate in clinical trials.

    Our survey was conducted in partnership with thinkgen, a marketing research firm specializing in healthcare. We will publish our findings in January in a comprehensive report, but, in the meantime, we wanted to share a handful of findings:

    First, while we expected to see attitudes towards clinical trials differ significantly across racial and ethnic groups, they didn't. Our 400 diverse respondents were surprisingly similar. Not that opinions and beliefs didn’t vary widely, but there was no statistical differences in answers from different racial and ethnic groups. 

    Second, Americans have a mostly positive opinion about trials in general: 

      • 90% of respondents stated that they have a positive attitude toward medical research.
      • 67% agreed that healthcare professionals would not involve them in research that might be harmful.
      • 79% of respondents expressed confidence that they would receive good quality care as a participant in a clinical trial.

    You might wonder then why, if Americans have a positive attitude about clinical research, is clinical trial recruitment such a challenge?

    The number one reason respondents gave for not participating in clinical trials is that they had never been asked.

    So, if Americans have a positive attitude about clinical research and are simply waiting to be asked to participate, what is the best way to ask?

      • 56% of respondents said that a healthcare provider they already know would be the most trustworthy source for information about a clinical trial
      • Communications via mail, TV, radio, or social media were the least likely to be considered trustworthy

    Interested in learning more? Our full report “US Consumer Perceptions of Clinical Trials for Biopharma” will be released soon (January, 2021). Enter your email address below and we'll send you the report as soon as it's out.

    Get first access to the full report when it's out:


    Diversity in Clinical Trials Whitepaper