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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24842

Title: Making Participation Work: A Grounded Theory Describing Participation in Phase I Drug Trials from the Perspective of the Healthy Subject
Authors: Ondrusek, Nancy
Advisor: Hebert, Philip
Department: Medical Science
Keywords: research ethics
bioethics
healthy volunteers
payment
research subjects
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2010
Abstract: A qualitative research study was conducted with people who had participated as healthy subjects in phase I drug trials at commercial research facilities, in order to develop a better understanding of their perspective regarding research participation. The participants were recruited using online advertisements posted on the University of Toronto student website (www.my.utoronto.ca) and NOW Magazine online. Thirty-one subjects were interviewed. The audiotaped interviews were transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory methods. A grounded theory was developed that describes the process of participation and the main factors affecting the experience of participation, from the perspective of healthy subjects. The theory, called Making Participation Work, explains how healthy subjects frame participation as an income earning opportunity, and how this framing shapes their behaviour with regard to participation. Participants expressed a range of attitudes about the experience of participation, from very positive to very negative. The main factor affecting the experience is the perceived net burden, which is in turn affected by the degree to which subjects find personal control over their participation. Net burden and finding personal control were both affected by the degree to which subjects felt valued by research staff, and by whether subjects had trust in the research enterprise. Although subjects framed participation as work, the relationship with the study doctors and nurses was viewed as clinical. Most subjects are generally trusting that participation in phase I drug trials is safe. These findings suggest that models of research participation assuming participation motivated by altruism or potential therapeutic benefit cannot accommodate the attitudes and behaviours of healthy subjects in phase I drug trials. New models must be developed which account for the framing of participation as work, while being sensitive to the trust that healthy subjects place in the research enterprise.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24842
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Institute of Medical Science - Doctoral theses

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