Pilot Study to Identify Organizational Barriers to HMO Participation in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are the primary mechanism by which new approaches to cancer treatment can be evaluated, yet only a very small proportion of eligible cancer patients are offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, and fewer actually enroll. Dr. Carol Somkin (KPNC) investigated attitudinal and organizational barriers to clinical trial participation at multiple CRN sites in a pilot study. The study revealed enthusiasm for clinical trials, but also a critical need for infrastructure to support trials, better intra-organizational communication, and consideration of a trial design’s impact on health plan resources. The study team next received a larger grant to increase patient participation in clinical trials, known as CHOICES: Understanding Clinical Trials as a Treatment Option. This study will use a cluster randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a telephone counseling intervention to increase enrollment, knowledge, and satisfaction with treatment decision. The intervention will be tailored to patient language (English and Spanish), ethnic and cultural background, knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about clinical trials.

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