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Talking to the people that really matter about their participation in pandemic clinical research: a qualitative study in four European countries

Gobat, Nina Helene, Gal, Micaela, Butler, Christopher Collett, Webb, Steve A.R., Francis, Nicholas Andrew, Stanton, Helen, Anthierens, Sibyl, Bastiaens, Hilde, Godycki-?wirko, Maciek, Kowalczyk, Anna, Pons-Vigués, Mariona, Pujol-Ribera, Enriqueta, Berenguera, Anna, Watkins, Angela, Sukumar, Prasanth, Moore, Ronald G., Hood, Kerenza and Nichol, Alistair 2018. Talking to the people that really matter about their participation in pandemic clinical research: a qualitative study in four European countries. Health Expectations 21 (1) , pp. 387-395. 10.1111/hex.12634

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Background Pandemics of new and emerging infectious diseases are unpredictable, recurrent events that rapidly threaten global health and security. We aimed to identify public views regarding provision of information and consent to participate in primary and critical care clinical research during a future influenza-like illness pandemic. Methods Descriptive-interpretive qualitative study, using focus groups (n = 10) and semi-structured interviews (n = 16), with 80 members of the public (>18 years) in Belgium, Spain, Poland and the UK. Local qualitative researchers followed a scenario-based topic guide to collect data. Data were transcribed verbatim, translated into English and subject to framework analysis. Results Public understandings of pandemics were shaped by personal factors (illness during the previous H1N1 pandemic, experience of life-threatening illness) and social factors (historical references, media, public health information). Informants appreciated safeguards provided by ethically robust research procedures, but current enrolment procedures were seen as a barrier. They proposed simplified enrolment processes for higher risk research and consent waiver for certain types of low-risk research. Decision making about research participation was influenced by contextual, research and personal factors. Informants generally either carefully weighed up various approaches to research participation or responded instinctively. They supported the principle of using routinely collected, anonymized clinical biological samples for research without explicit consent, but regarded this as less acceptable if researchers were motivated primarily by commercial gain. Conclusions This bottom-up approach to ascertaining public views on pandemic clinical research has identified support for more proportionate research protection procedures for publically funded, low-risk studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1369-6513
Funders: EU FP7
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 11 September 2017
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2022 06:26

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