May 28th, 2022

Patient attitudes toward clinical research continue to evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At SubjectWell, we have been conducting an ongoing survey since the beginning of the pandemic to understand how patient attitudes toward clinical research participation have been affected. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we continue to see how the rapidly evolving situation is also changing the clinical trial landscape.

The third round of our survey was fielded between May 7 and 13, 2020. We polled 618 patients across the United States – our largest sample yet – to better understand how the pandemic might affect clinical trial operations in the short- and long-term. For this survey, we added some questions to better understand what motivates patients to participate.

As a refresher, you can read our reports on round one of our survey here and round two of our survey here. These previous surveys were conducted between March 19 and 23, 2020, and April 2 and 8, 2020, respectively.

Here’s what we discovered during our third round of research.


Clinical trial consideration continues to rise.

Across all our surveys so far, the percentage of patients who are considering clinical research has continued to grow, and more patients are willing to participate immediately – reflecting the growing urgency around clinical research as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Patients considering participation in a clinical trial

Patients willing to participate in the next month

58% would be more likely to participate in trials that offer telehealth services.
Across all rounds of our survey thus far, telehealth services remain the top choice to increase the likelihood of clinical trial participation amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Why patients are considering participating in clinical research.

In our third survey, we dug deeper to discover what motivates patients to participate in a clinical trial. We found that overall, motivations for participation haven’t significantly changed in light of the coronavirus pandemic when compared to data collected during CISCRP’s 2019 Perceptions and Insights Study – and current events may be positively influencing patients’ motivations to help others.

When asked why they would consider participating, altruism continues to be a key motivator.

While altruistic reasons for participating in clinical research have increased, it’s interesting to note that other motivational factors have remained relatively consistent – especially the prospect of receiving money, which has remained flat.

  • CISCRP 2019 Study
  • Latest SubjectWell Survey

To help others

To advance science

To access better treatment

To receive money


Compensation is more of a motivator in some regions than in others.

In our third survey, patients in the West and Midwest were more motivated by money than patients in the South and Northeast.

Percentage of patients who would participate in order to receive money

  • West (42%)
  • Midwest (41%)
  • South (30%)
  • Northeast (27%)


Looking ahead.

We continue to be encouraged by the overall increased number of patients who are more likely than ever to consider taking part in a clinical trial. Our latest data shows that patients remain motivated to help us advance science and to help others by participating in clinical research.

Our team will keep researching the effects of the pandemic on clinical trial operations and patient sentiment. Be sure to check back periodically for updates.

Have any questions for our marketplace? Reach out by emailing covid19@subjectwell.com.