Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

Poster display session

3252 - Do Oncology Patients Understand Clinical Trials? A Nationwide Study By Cancer Trials Ireland


10 Sep 2017


Poster display session


Bioethical Principles and GCP


Catherine Kelly


Annals of Oncology (2017) 28 (suppl_5): v605-v649. 10.1093/annonc/mdx440


C.M. Kelly1, R. Feighery2, J. McCaffrey1, M. Higgins1, M. Smith1, S. O'Reilly3, C. Murphy4, A. Horgan5, J. Walshe6, R. McDermott7, D. O'Donnell8, P.G. Morris9, M. Keane10, M. Martin11, K. Duffy12, A. Mihai13, J. Armstrong14, E. Mulroe2, V. Murphy2, C. Kelly1

Author affiliations

  • 1 Medical Oncology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, University College Dublin (UCD) & Cancer Trials Ireland, 7 - Dublin/IE
  • 2 Translational Research, Cancer Trials Ireland, Dublin/IE
  • 3 Medical Oncology, Cork University Hospital & Cancer Trials Ireland, Cork/IE
  • 4 Medical Oncology, Bon Secours Hospital & Cancer Trials Ireland, Cork/IE
  • 5 Medical Oncology, University Hospital Waterford & Cancer Trials Ireland, Waterford/IE
  • 6 Medical Oncology, St Vincents University Hospital & Cancer Trials Ireland, 4 - Dublin/IE
  • 7 Genito-urinary Oncology, Tallaght & St. Vincent’s University Hospital and Cancer Trials Ireland, 24 - Dublin/IE
  • 8 Department Of Medical Oncology, St James's Hospital & Cancer Trials Ireland, 8 - Dublin/IE
  • 9 Medical Oncology, Beaumont Hospital & RCSI & Cancer Trials Ireland, 9 - Dublin/IE
  • 10 Medical Oncology, University College Hospital Galway & Cancer Trials Ireland, Galway/IE
  • 11 Medical Oncology, Sligo General Hospital & Cancer Trials Ireland, Sligo/IE
  • 12 Medical Oncology, Letterkenny General Hospital & Cancer Trials Ireland, Letterkenny/IE
  • 13 Radiation Oncology, Beacon Hospital & Cancer Trials Ireland, Dublin/IE
  • 14 Radiation Oncology, St. Lukes Hospital & Cancer Trials Ireland, 6 - Dublin/IE


Abstract 3252


Clinical trials are critical to improve cancer outcomes. We conducted a nationwide survey to assess oncology patients (pts) understanding of some fundamental concepts in clinical trial methodology.


Patients with a diagnosis of malignancy, ≥18 years, able to provide informed consent and complete a questionnaire independently were eligible. Questionnaires were administered to pts attending 14 cancer centres across Ireland. Collection began 22nd April 2016 and ended Nov 23rd 2016.


The median age of the 1,090 pts completing the survey was 60 years (IQR 50-69), comprising 386 (35.6%) men and 697 (64.4%) women. 303 pts (27.8%) stated they had previously participated in a cancer clinical trial. Most were diagnosed between 2014-2016 (694, 66%). Breast (31.4%), colorectal (15.6%), haematological (12.6%), genitourinary (11.6%) and lung (6.8%) were the most commonly reported cancer types. Almost all pts (n = 1048, 98.3%) considered it important to have clinical trials available in Ireland. Most pts (n = 841, 82.3%) reported understanding the term medical/cancer clinical trials. Pts were given statements about clinical trials and asked to indicate whether they were ‘True’ or ‘False’ or to mark as ‘Don’t know’ if they were unsure. When asked ‘In a randomised trial the treatment you get is decided by chance’ 334 (33.5%) pts answered ‘True’, 425 (41.4%) answered ‘False’ and 257 (25%) answered ‘Don’t know’. When asked ‘Clinical trials are only used when standard treatments have not worked’ 226 (22%) pts answered ‘True’ and 273 (26.6%) answered ‘Don’t know’. When asked ‘My doctor would know which treatment in a clinical trial was better’ 581 (56.5%) pts answered ‘True’, and 238 (23.2%) answered ‘Don’t know’. When asked ‘My doctor would make sure I get (got) the better treatment in a clinical trial’ 633 (60.9%) answered ‘True’. Of the 303 pts who had taken part in a cancer clinical trial 185 (63.6%) answered ‘True’.


Although oncology pts consider it important to have clinical trials available to them, many do not understand key concepts such as randomisation, chance and equipoise. The data collected from this study will be used to address this and develop customised interventions to improve understanding and informed trial participation.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Catherine M. Kelly


Funding provided to Cancer Trials Ireland by Amgen, Abbvie, Bayor and Inveva


C.M. Kelly: Funding was provided by the following companies; Bayer, Amgen, Abbvie, Inveva to Cancer Trials Ireland (formerly ICORG) our National Clinical Trials group. The research conducted was totally independent of these funders. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings
  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and you can only disable them by changing your browser preferences.