Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Investigators' sense of failure thwarted transparency in clinical trials discontinued for poor recruitment.

Authors
  • Satalkar, Priya1
  • McLennan, Stuart2
  • Elger, Bernice S3
  • von Elm, Erik4
  • Matthias, Briel5
  • 1 Department of Clinical Research, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Department of Public Health, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 2 Department of Clinical Research, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Institute of History and Ethics in Medicine, TUM School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany. , (Switzerland)
  • 3 Department of Public Health, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Center for Legal Medicine, Unit for Health Law and Humanitarian Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 4 Cochrane Switzerland, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health (Unisanté), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 5 Department of Clinical Research, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of clinical epidemiology
Publication Date
May 01, 2022
Volume
145
Pages
136–143
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2022.01.024
PMID: 35124187
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

When a randomized clinical trial (RCT) prematurely discontinues, it is essential that stakeholders do the right thing to ensure that lessons can be learnt and trust in clinical research is maintained. There is, however, a lack of evidence exploring this issue. This study aimed to examine clinical trial stakeholders' practices following trial discontinuation due to poor participant recruitment and their views on implications of such discontinuation. Individual semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 49 clinical trial stakeholders from Switzerland (n = 39), Germany (n = 9) and Canada (n = 1) between August 2015 and November 2016. After interviews with 49 clinical trial stakeholders (75% male presenting), it was found that stakeholders were aware of the risks of premature trial discontinuation wasting limited resources, adversely impacting scientific evidence, and having negative personal and professional implications. However, barriers continue to undermine transparency regarding trial discontinuation in practice, with it being reported that most investigators of discontinued trials are failing to notify stakeholders or publishing their results. Investigators sense of failure and associated negative emotions were identified as a key reason why investigators are not more transparent following discontinuation. The decision to notify stakeholders and publish results of a discontinued clinical trial should not rest solely on individual investigators but come from a systemic approach. However, until health research proactively requires the dissemination of results of all clinical trials, much will rest on individual investigators being motivated to do the right thing. Support programs might be helpful for investigators involved in discontinued trials and promote transparency and learning lessons. Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times