OBJECTIVE: We examined the attitudes of the Kentucky adult population toward experimental oncology treatment and randomized clinical oncology trials. DESIGN: We conducted a health survey of 654 noninstitutionalized adults randomly selected from Kentucky households. We posed to them a series of questions evaluating demographics, general health, and personality characteristics. We asked specific questions to characterize the subjects' experiences with cancer, their desires for autonomy in medical treatment, their health-related behaviors, and their preconceived opinions about specific cancer screening examinations. We then asked the subjects about their willingness to undergo experimental treatment and their willingness to participate in a randomized clinical oncology trial within the framework of a defined, specific oncology scenario. RESULTS: Of our subjects, 73% were willing to consider an experimental form of therapy of indeterminate benefit; however, only 39% were willing to consider a randomized clinical trial of two therapies, given the same oncology scenario. The influences of demographic factors, general health, personality factors, personal experience with cancer, and desire for autonomy in health care were found to be of minimal importance in predicting a willingness to participate. CONCLUSIONS: A strong negative bias toward randomized clinical trials appears to exist within this population. Continued public education regarding the value of clinical trials to the individual, as well as their selfless benefit to humanity, is clearly needed.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||The Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association|
|State||Published - Mar 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (all)