Impact of a cancer clinical trials web site on discussions about trial participation: a cluster randomized trial.

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Journal Article
Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology, 2012, 23 (7), pp. 1912 - 1918
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Cancer patients want access to reliable information about currently recruiting clinical trials.Oncologists and their patients were randomly assigned to access a consumer-friendly cancer clinical trials web site [Australian Cancer Trials (ACT),] or to usual care in a cluster randomized controlled trial. The primary outcome, measured from audio recordings of oncologist-patient consultations, was the proportion of patients with whom participation in any clinical trial was discussed. Analysis was by intention-to-treat accounting for clustering and stratification.Thirty medical oncologists and 493 patients were recruited. Overall, 46% of consultations in the intervention group compared with 34% in the control group contained a discussion about clinical trials (P=0.08). The mean consultation length in both groups was 29 min (P=0.69). The proportion consenting to a trial was 10% in both groups (P=0.65). Patients' knowledge about randomized trials was lower in the intervention than the control group (mean score 3.0 versus 3.3, P=0.03) but decisional conflict scores were similar (mean score 42 versus 43, P=0.83).Good communication between patients and physicians is essential. Within this context, a web site such as Australian Cancer Trials may be an important tool to encourage discussion about clinical trial participation.
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