Study: Cancer Trial Leaflets Too Long, Confusing to Patients

Posted 28 March 2012 | By

A study published in the journal Sociology of Health and Illness claims patient information leaflets used to inform patients interested in participating in clinical trials are "too long, incomprehensible, and even intimidating," reports Medical News Today.

The study looked at the information sheets of 13 cancer trials, and recruited 26 patients associated with the trials to provide additional feedback on their experiences.

"These information sheets are poorly aligned with patients' information needs and how they really make decisions about whether to join a cancer trial," said study author Professor Mary Dixon-Woods. "Some patients did find them very useful, but many others paid them little attention. They preferred to rely on discussions they had with their doctor to make up their minds."

"The problem is that information sheets are trying to do too many things," explained another of the study's authors, Dr. Natalie Armstrong. "They end up having many of the features of a legal contract."

The ultimate perception, continued Armstrong, was that the information sheets were more about liability control than about informing patients of the risks associated with the trial.

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Medical News Today - Cancer Trials Patient Information Leaflets Too Long, Intimidating And Incomprehensible


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