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Orthop Nurs. 2000 Mar-Apr;19(2):95-9.

Clinical research: what do patients understand?

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Department of Health Promotion and Development, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


An increasing amount of clinical research is being conducted to test the efficacy and effectiveness of new medications, therapies, and medical procedures. These studies often require that patients be invited to be subjects. However, what do patients really understand whenever they are asked to participate in clinical research? Are patients aware that research is clearly different from treatment? Are they aware that their participation in research is to benefit future patients? Despite the desire of clinical agencies to support research, there is the concern about how they can best protect the rights of patients who are subjects in this research. The author briefly discusses clinical research, patients as vulnerable subjects, the therapeutic misconception, and informed consent. In addition, recommendations are provided to help assure that the rights of patients who are research subjects are protected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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