Development of a research participants' perception survey to improve clinical research

Clin Transl Sci. 2012 Dec;5(6):452-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-8062.2012.00443.x. Epub 2012 Oct 15.


Introduction: Clinical research participants' perceptions regarding their experiences during research protocols provide outcome-based insights into the effectiveness of efforts to protect rights and safety, and opportunities to enhance participants' clinical research experiences. Use of validated surveys measuring patient-centered outcomes is standard in hospitals, yet no instruments exist to assess outcomes of clinical research processes.

Methods: We derived survey questions from data obtained from focus groups comprised of research participants and professionals. We assessed the survey for face/content validity, and privacy/confidentiality protections and fielded it to research participants at 15 centers. We conducted analyses of response rates, sample characteristics, and psychometrics, including survey and item completion and analysis, internal consistency, item internal consistency, criterion-related validity, and item usefulness. Responses were tested for fit into existing patient-centered dimensions of care and new clinical research dimensions using Cronbach's alpha coefficient.

Results: Surveys were mailed to 18,890 individuals; 4,961 were returned (29%). Survey completion was 89% overall; completion rates exceeded 90% for 88 of 93 evaluable items. Questions fit into three dimensions of patient-centered care and two novel clinical research dimensions (Cronbach's alpha for dimensions: 0.69-0.85).

Conclusions: The validated survey offers a new method for assessing and improving outcomes of clinical research processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Data Collection*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception*
  • Racial Groups
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • United States
  • Young Adult