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Early Phase Clinical Trials: Referral Barriers and Promoters among Physicians | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-0711

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
Open Access

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Research Article

Early Phase Clinical Trials: Referral Barriers and Promoters among Physicians

Amelie G. Ramirez1*, Patricia Chalela1, Lucina Suarez2, Edgar Muñoz1, Brad H. Pollock3, Steven D. Weitman4 and Kipling J. Gallion1

1Institute for Health Promotion Research, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio,7411 John Smith Dr. Suite 1000, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA

2Texas Department of State Health Services, Environmental Epidemiology & Disease Registries Section T-711, MC 1964,1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756, USA

3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio,7703 Floyd Curl Ave., Mail Code 7933, San Antonio, Texas 78229-3901, USA

4The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Cancer Therapy & Research Center, Institute for Drug Development, 7979 Wurzbach Road, Room Z459, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Institute for Health Promotion Research
7411 John Smith Dr., San Antonio
Texas 78229, USA
Tel: 210-562-6500
Fax: 210-562-6545
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 30, 2012; Accepted date: September 22, 2012; Published date: September 24, 2012

Citation: Ramirez AG, Chalela P, Suarez L, Muñoz E, Pollock BH, et al. (2012) Early Phase Clinical Trials: Referral Barriers and Promoters among Physicians. J Community Med Health Educ 2:173. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000173

Copyright: © 2012 Ramirez AG, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: Physician referral is among the most effective means of recruiting patients into cancer clinical trials. Therefore, to increase minority representation in early-phase clinical trials (EPCTs), specifically accrual of Latinos, it is first necessary to examine physicians’ attitudes and practices regarding these studies and factors that influence physicians’ referral decisions.
Methods: This study surveyed oncologists (N=111) from a Texas Medical Association mailing list to examine barriers and promoting factors associated with physician referral of patients to EPCTs and identify areas for intervention to increase accrual of Latinos and other minorities into clinical research. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to identify underlying dimensions, and significant factors that promote or deter physicians from referring patients to EPCTs were assessed through multiple logistic regression.
Results: Burden of the clinical trial process was the only significant dimension associated with referring patients to EPCTs. Physicians who agreed with this set of logistical barriers—such as diverting time and resources away from their practice—were less likely to refer patients than physicians with opposing opinions (OR= 0.28, 95% CI= 0.08-0.94).
Conclusion: This study, one of the first to identify physician barriers for referring patients to EPCTs in Texas, highlights potential focal areas for physician and community-based education and communication to promote clinical trial opportunities among both minority and non-minority patients. Given that Texas physicians deal with a large proportion of Latino patients, such efforts could also address ethnic disparities in clinical trial participation, which will become increasingly important as the Latino population continues to grow.