Doctors aren’t afraid to refer patients to clinical studies

June 26, 2019

Results of a physician survey dispels the myth that doctors are reluctant to refer patients to specialists for access to clinical studies.

Results of a physician survey dispels the myth that doctors are reluctant to refer patients to specialists for access to clinical studies.

The survey, conducted by BBK Worldwide, a patient recruitment and engagement firm, showed that 53 percent of sponsors believe that doctors are unwilling to refer their patients to other specialists for access to clinical trials, while 69 percent of doctors said they had referred a patient.

The survey also challenged the notion that doctors are reluctant to refer because of concerns over losing the patient or revenue. In fact, 68 percent of doctors said the reason they did not refer a patient was because of lack of information about the protocol-only 9 percent were concerned about losing the patient or revenue.

“It’s clearly a missed opportunity not to engage the physician community earlier in the process and educate them on the protocol,” Matt Kibby, principal and president, BBK Worldwide, said in a press release.

Findings revealed that the majority of patients learned about a clinical study opportunity from their doctor-35 percent of whom were referred to a different doctor conducting the clinical study. Among those that were not referred, 71 percent said they would still have wanted to participate if they had been referred to a different doctor. Of those that had been referred to a specialist for care in a clinical trial, 79 percent returned to their regular doctor for continued treatment and 11 percent continued to see both the study doctor and their regular doctor at the conclusion of the study.

“The findings also allude to the importance of the physician-patient relationship,” said Kibby. “It seems that the better the relationship is, with more open lines of communication, the more likely the doctor will introduce clinical research as an option and the more likely the patient will participate.”