Participant Perspectives Concerning Resuming Clinical Research in the Era of COVID-19

Daniel S. Hsia, Karlie M. Williams, Robbie A. Beyl


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a shutdown of clinical research but offered a unique opportunity to understand attitudes and motivations around contributing to clinical research and resuming in-person visits during a pandemic.

Methods: We conducted an anonymous survey study at Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) in participants returning for in-person visits from May 26, 2020 to August 11, 2020 and in people who previously expressed interest in research via an online Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) survey from August 6, 2020 to September 11, 2020. The survey gathered demographic information and presented statements that required answers on a scale of 1 (absolutely disagree) to 10 (absolutely agree). Two hundred fifty-one people completed paper surveys in-person while 1,537 people completed the survey online.

Results: Online participants were more likely to be female (75.2% vs. 56.8%), more likely to have had COVID-19 symptoms (19.6% vs. 5.2%), and more likely to know someone with COVID-19 (72.7% vs. 49.4%). More people who came in-person thought they were low risk for severe COVID-19 compared to those who filled out the survey online (52.2% vs. 38.4%, P = 0.0002). More people who completed the survey online preferred to do as many study visits over the phone or internet as possible (37.8% vs. 22.7%, P < 0.0001). More people who came in-person agreed that clinical research is even more important than before COVID-19 (54.2% vs. 44.3%, P = 0.0035).

Conclusions: The majority of people felt that clinical research is important because of the health benefits received and because it may help others. These data may provide important considerations in the planning of future studies in the era of COVID-19.

J Clin Med Res. 2022;14(4):165-169


Survey; Participation; Clinical research; COVID-19

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