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Perceived barriers to pediatrician and family practitioner participation in pediatric clinical trials: Findings from the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative


Despite legislation to stimulate pediatric drug development through clinical trials, enrolling children in trials continues to be challenging. Non-investigator (those who have never served as a clinical trial investigator) providers are essential to recruitment of pediatric patients, but little is known regarding the specific barriers that limit pediatric providers from participating in and referring their patients to clinical trials. We conducted an online survey of pediatric providers from a wide variety of practice types across the United States to evaluate their attitudes and awareness of pediatric clinical trials. Using a 4-point Likert scale, providers described their perception of potential barriers to their practice serving as a site for pediatric clinical trials. Of the 136 providers surveyed, 52/136 (38%) had previously referred a pediatric patient to a trial, and only 17/136 (12%) had ever been an investigator for a pediatric trial. Lack of awareness of existing pediatric trials was a major barrier to patient referral by providers, in addition to consideration of trial risks, distance to the site, and time needed to discuss trial participation with parents. Overall, providers perceived greater challenges related to parental concerns and parent or child logistical barriers than study implementation and ethics or regulatory barriers as barriers to their practice serving as a trial site. Providers who had previously been an investigator for a pediatric trial were less likely to be concerned with potential barriers than non-investigators. Understanding the barriers that limit pediatric providers from collaboration or inhibit their participation is key to designing effective interventions to optimize pediatric trial participation.

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