Patient and family member perspectives on searching for cancer clinical trials: A qualitative interview study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective Clinical trials are vital in the context of ovarian cancer and may offer further treatment options during disease recurrence, yet enrollment remains low. Understanding patient and family member experiences with identifying trials can inform engagement and education efforts. Methods Interviews were conducted with 33 patients who had experience with clinical trial conversations and 39 nominated family members. Thematic analysis examined experiences and generated findings for clinical practice. Results Trial conversations with providers at diagnosis were uncommon and often overwhelming. Most participants delayed engagement until later in the disease course. With hindsight, though, some wished they considered trials earlier. Difficulty identifying appropriate trials led some to defer searching to providers, but then they worried about missed opportunities. Most family members felt unqualified to search. Conclusion Trial conversations during clinical encounters should start early and include specifying search responsibilities of providers, patients, and family. Patients and family members can be engaged in searches but need guidance. Practice implications Trials should be discussed throughout the disease course, even if patients are not ready to participate or are not making a treatment decision. Education should focus on identifying trials that meet search criteria. Transparency regarding each individual's role in identifying trials is critical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Clinical trials
  • Oncology
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Qualitative research
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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