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Comments, Opinions, and Brief Case Reports
March 12, 2001

What Do the People Think (and Know) About Informed Consent for Participation in a Medical Trial

Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(5):767-769. doi:

In the last decade the number of clinical trials involving thousands of patients has greatly increased.1 This fact implies an enthusiastic participation in the advancement of medical science by both the patients and their physicians. Fund-for-science and/or love-for-science motivations could easily explain physicians' adhesion to this practice,2 but there is no sure explanation why patients agree to participate in medical trials.3 To explore this question, 4 family physicians gave their first consecutive 250 patients a thorough explanation and a simple questionnaire (Figure 1) to be anonymously returned. Each family physician was living in a northern Italian town of about 150 000 inhabitants and had been assigned approximately 1000 patients by the Italian National Health Service.

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