Awareness and attitude of Saudi cancer patients toward participation in clinical research


  • Nagham Sheblaq Department of Oncology, King Abdul Aziz Medical City for National Guard, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Marwan ElBagoury Ulm University – Faculty of Medicine, Ulm, Germany
  • Ahmed M. Elagouz University of The People, Pasadena, California
  • Maryam Kotb University of The People, Pasadena, California



Awareness, Cancer, Clinical research, Saudi


Background: Public awareness about the importance of clinical research (CR) is crucial for patient’s participation in clinical trials. Their enrollment may be impacted by their levels of awareness and attitudes toward participation. Our study aimed to assess the Saudi cancer patient’s knowledge and perception about CR, and determine the influencing factors and barriers affecting participation.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 300 cancer patients attending the Oncology Department at King AbdulAziz Medical City (KAMC) Riyadh between February 2011 and February 2012 using a survey covering the demographic data, knowledge of clinical research, and attitude toward participation; followed by statistical analysis.

Results: A total of 300 patients were enrolled in the study with a median age of 53.6 (42.2-64.01); 62.67% of which were females. The majority of patients (97.31%) were not aware of Institutional Review Board (IRB). However, (75.33%) showed interest in CR participation, if offered. The advanced disease (86.67%), and the lack of other treatment options (85.33%) were the top two encouraging factors, while fear of adverse side effects (58.33%), and the unknown efficacy of treatment (58.32%) were the top two barriers against participation. Respondents younger than 45 years, and educated ones were significantly more interested in participation in CR with P values P=0.0136 and P=0.0239 respectively.

Conclusions: There is an apparent gap in cancer patient’s awareness about CR. However, there is an obvious interest in participation in CR especially in younger and educated patients. Enhancing public awareness is crucial to improve participation in CR.


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Original Research Articles