Date of Award
Master of Science
Field of Study
Clinical Research Management
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Background: Whether it is a clinical trial to test the efficacy of a new drug, treatments for cancer or studies to find out risk factors for diseases, clinical research is an important resource for the medical profession. However, the major issue associated with clinical research is low recruitment and retention rates of participants. Low study enrollment can introduce bias and limit the study outcome. Therefore, it is important for researchers to understand what motivates and prevents people from participating in research studies. There is literature addressing reasons why adults consent to participate in research. Some studies break down the differences in research participation between gender, race/ethnicity and education level individually. However, there is not information on how the factors that motivate people to participate in research studies differ by gender, race/ethnicity and education. Nor is there information on how occupation relates to these motivational factors. Additionally, there is not sufficient information on why parents enroll their children in research studies and if the factors that motivate people to participate in research differ from what motivates them to enroll their children in research studies.
The purpose of this study was to determine what motivational factors influence a person’s decision to participate in research studies and enroll their children in research studies. A secondary aim of this study was to determine if these motivational factors differ by a person’s gender, race/ethnicity, occupation and education level.
Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 101 participants (18 years and older). They were asked to complete a questionnaire that contained questions related to the adult participant and their child. For each variable, simple and multiple logistic regression were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between education, occupation, gender, and race/ethnicity with willingness to participate in clinical research and allow their children to participate in future research while controlling for whether they have participated in research in the past. Chi-square analyses were performed to determine if motivational factors differed by gender, race/ethnicity, occupation, and education for those who were willing to participate in future studies.
Results: In the unadjusted model, education level and occupation were associated with the adult participants’ willingness to participate in future research. In the adjusted model, education level and previous research participation were associated with the adult participants’ willingness to participate. Motivational factors for participation significantly varied by education level (3 factors), occupation (4 factors), gender (1 factor) and race/ethnicity (1 factor).
The results for the secondary aim differed slightly. In the adjusted model, previous research participant of the adult was significantly associated with willingness to allow their children to participate in future research studies. Motivational factors for child research participation significantly varied by education level of the adult (2 factors) and occupation of the adult (1 factor)
Conclusion: By researchers using these models and finding out what factors motivate these individuals to participate in research and allow their child to participate in research studies, they can make research more appealing and eventually increase participation in research studies among these groups. As a result, researchers will decrease potential biases and increase their ability to analyze data that is collected which can help uncover information about certain conditions and diseases.
Lee, M. R.
"Differences in Motivational Factors that Influence Participation in Research Studies" Fort Worth, Tx: University of North Texas Health Science Center;