What do patients value as incentives for participation in clinical trials? A pilot discrete choice experiment

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Vellinga, Akke
Devine, Colum
Ho, Min Yun
Clarke, Colin
Leahy, Patrick
Bourke, Jane
Devane, Declan
Duane, Sinead
Kearney, Patricia
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SAGE Publications
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Incentivising has shown to improve participation in clinical trials. However, ethical concerns suggest that incentives may be coercive, obscure trial risks and encourage individuals to enrol in clinical trials for the wrong reasons. The aim of our study was to develop and pilot a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to explore and identify preferences for incentives. A DCE was designed by including following attributes (and levels) of incentives: value, method, and time involvement. To account for trial benefit and risk, each was included as an attribute with levels low, medium and high. For testing purposes, the DCE was administrated using SurveyMonkey in a population of third level students. A total of 245 students, representative of the general student population, participated in the online DCE. The results provide a template to assess and explore the use of different incentive methods in clinical trials. The template can be used in its current format or adapted to particular scenarios. This pilot study provides a feasible methodology to explore the use of incentives for participation in clinical trials and can be adapted to specific trial requirements to provide information for ethical applications or identify the most favourable incentive for participation in clinical trials.
Discrete choice experiment , Incentive , Randomised controlled trial
Vellinga, A., Devine, C., Ho, M. Y., Clarke, C., Leahy, P., Bourke, J., Devane, D., Duane, S. and Kearney, P. (2020) 'What do patients value as incentives for participation in clinical trials? A pilot discrete choice experiment', Research Ethics, 16(1-2), pp. 1-12. doi: 10.1177/1747016119898669
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