The study found that 41 percent of the clinical trial coordinators surveyed had experience disclosing financial aspects of the trial to potential participants, and 28 percent of the coordinators had been asked by participants about potential financial conflicts.

Financial interests can include such things as corporate support for the costs of the trial and its personnel, a researcher's consulting contract with a company that has a vested interest in a trial and an investigator's ownership of stock in a sponsoring company. "We found that coordinators who had more experience discussing financial matters felt more comfortable in discussing them with potential clinical trial participants," said Joelle Friedman, from the Duke University Medical Center .

"When we asked the coordinators what they felt were the major barriers to providing financial information to patients, 76 percent cited lack of information about the financial aspects of the trial and 26 percent said they didn't think the patient would understand the disclosure," Friedman continued. The researchers also found that 13 percent of the coordinators who felt uncomfortable disclosing financial information thought that the information was a private matter for the investigator.

"These findings are important because they underscore the importance of on-the-job experience and how coordinators new to their positions might benefit from additional education and training," Kevin Weinfurt, Ph.D., deputy director of the Center for Clinical and Genetic Economics at the Duke Clinical Research Institute said.; Source: Duke University Medical Center