Determinants of decision-making and patient participation in paediatric clinical trials: A literature review


Background: Studies have shown that many drugs used in children may not have been authorised for use in this age group. This poses significant risks on children. A new EU regulation came into effect in 2007 to ensure that medicinal products that are researched, developed and authorised will also meet the therapeutic needs of children. This will mean an increased demand for children to participate in clinical trials. Objectives: To identify the needs and motivations of children and their families who have participated, might participate or declined to participate in clinical trials. Methods: We did a literature search and reviewed empirical studies which examined eligible outcomes. The findings of these studies were analyzed in a broad qualitative and descriptive bottom-up process. Results: We found that the understanding of advanced concepts of research such as randomisation is often insufficient. The needs of families affected by a serious disease are not addressed explicitly. Personal benefit and altruistic motives were two important reasons for participation. Conclusions: The comprehension of information given in the consent process should be secured by improving the information material. The communication process should be more mutual. Children and their families should be empowered to address their needs in the process of considering participation in a clinical trial.

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Wulf, F. , Krasuska, M. and Bullinger, M. (2012) Determinants of decision-making and patient participation in paediatric clinical trials: A literature review. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 2, 1-17. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2012.21001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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