Higher frequency of HCP visits in the US correlates to greater likelihood of clinical trial participation.
In our most recent international survey of patients in Canada, South Africa and the US measuring the impact of healthcare usage, we found the country with the lowest healthcare usage overall and lowest trust in the healthcare system (South Africa) interestingly had the highest likelihood of clinical trial participation.
However, when we took a closer look at just US respondents to explore their sentiments regarding the healthcare system and clinical research, distinct patterns emerged when responses were grouped by number of visits to see a healthcare professional (HCP).
What follows is a portion of the larger international survey conducted from May 5 to 7, 2021, which comprised a total of 892 respondents. The results below are from the 191 US respondents.
US patients visit HCPs with high frequency.
Respondents were asked how many times in the past two years they saw a doctor, dentist, or other HCP (such as a nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant) for their own medical treatment. The majority of respondents from the US (70%) saw an HCP more than six times in the past two years, and the percentage of patients steadily increased, as the frequency of visits increased.
Number of visits to an HCP reported by respondents in the past two years:
5% reported no visits
24% reported between one and five visits
30% reported between six and 10 visits
40% reported 11+ visits
Overall trust in the healthcare system, interest in clinical research participation, and confidence in finding a relevant clinical trial is low.
Demonstrating a well-documented trend, this survey reflects trust in the healthcare system (hospitals, health insurance companies, and overall medical research) at disturbingly low levels. Only 55% of respondents from the US ranked their trust in the healthcare system as high.
When asked about clinical research, just 54% of respondents from the US said they were likely to participate in a clinical trial unrelated to COVID-19. And only 39% of respondents reported they were confident in finding a relevant clinical trial.
Respondents with more frequent visits to an HCP reported higher trust in the healthcare system, as well as a greater likelihood of trial participation and higher confidence in finding a clinical trial.
Despite widespread misgivings in the US healthcare system, those with frequent HCP visits were more likely to rate their trust in the healthcare system as high.
Likewise, respondents were asked their likelihood of participation in a clinical trial unrelated to COVID-19 and their confidence level in finding a relevant trial. In both categories, positive responses correlated to patients with more visits to an HCP.
Factoring in the number of HCP visits in the past two years, the percentage of US respondents who rate their trust in the healthcare system as high, are likely to participate in a clinical trial unrelated to COVID-19, and have confidence in finding a clinical trial:
- No visits
- 1–5 visits
- 6–10 visits
- 11+ visits
Have high trust in healthcare system
3% No visits vs 25% 1–5 visits vs 32% 6–10 visits vs 40% 11+ visits
Would participate in a clinical trial unrelated to COVID-19
1% No visits vs 18% 1–5 visits vs 36% 6–10 visits vs 45% 11+ visits
Have confidence in finding a relevant clinical trial
4% No visits vs 17% 1–5 visits vs 38% 6–10 visits vs 40% 11+ visits
Supporting increased access to HCPs in the US could help expand clinical trial participation.
Ideally, need for care would be the major determinant in healthcare usage. However, healthcare usage is complicated by factors including access, insurance coverage, personal demographics, language spoken, and disability status.
In this survey, those that visited an HCP with higher frequency reported greater trust in the healthcare system and were more likely to participate in a clinical trial. Increasing access to care and ensuring adequate insurance coverage could help to improve the trust levels needed for successful clinical trial recruiting.
Be sure to check back on our website for more information related to patient recruitment and survey findings.
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