Readiness to participate in psychiatric research

Can J Psychiatry. 2003 Aug;48(7):480-4. doi: 10.1177/070674370304800709.


Background: The feasibility of clinical trials depends, among other factors, on the number of eligible patients, the recruitment process, and the readiness of patients to participate in research. Seeking patients' views about their experience in research projects may allow investigators to develop more effective recruitment and retention strategies.

Methods: A total of 100 patients consecutively admitted to a psychiatric university hospital were interviewed with respect to their willingness to participate in a study. For a different study scenario, patients were asked whether they would be ready to participate if such a study were organized in the service and to indicate their reasons for refusing or for participating.

Results: The general readiness to participate in a study ranged between 70% and 96%. The prospect of remuneration did not notably augment the potential consent rate. The most common and spontaneous motivation for agreeing to take part in a study was to help science progress and to allow future patients to benefit from improved diagnosis and treatment (87%). The presence or lack of a financial incentive was rarely chosen as an argument to agree (23%) or to refuse (7%) to participate. Patients relied mainly on their treating physicians when contemplating possible participation in a study (family physician [65%] and hospital physician [54%]).

Conclusions: Clinicians and, in particular, treating doctors can play an important role in facilitating the recruitment process.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Admission
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Switzerland