Effects of Financial Incentives in Trial Participation

Principal Investigators: Ryan Greyson, MD and Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS

Hospital admission has been demonstrated to be associated with functional decline, particularly for patient with lower mobility levels while in the hospital. We have received funding for a parent trial the tests the effect of a hospital-based mobility protocol using activity trackers to objectively measure step counts. However, enrollment in clinical trials is a significant challenge. Prior studies of similar nature have demonstrated feasibility of identifying and approaching eligible patients but enrollment rates have been near 15%. Many patients state they are simply not interested in research. Others are concerned about associated risks involved with the study. In order to better understand these issues and improve enrollment rates, we must further evaluate these patient concerns and test how enrollment procedures impact patient enrollment and perceptions.

In this study, we use a randomized, controlled trial within the parent study to test participation incentives of three different magnitudes ($0, $100, and $300). The primary outcome measure is the proportion of patients assigned to each incentive amount that consent to participate. Secondary outcomes include attitudes towards research; patient-reported motivations for participation; attention to informed consent document; perceived risks of research; perceptions of influence or coercion; understanding of research study; health care system distrust; retention through the end of the study.