Interest in research participation among hospice patients, caregivers, and ambulatory senior citizens: Practical barriers or ethical contraints?

Academic Article


  • Objectives: The purpose of this survey study was to explore hypothetical interest in research participation among hospice patients and caregivers compared to ambulatory senior citizens. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Twenty-one community-based hospice offices, a university medical center geriatric ambulatory care clinic, and 3 community-based senior citizen centers. Participants: Participants were hospice patients, caregivers, and ambulatory senior citizens not enrolled in hospice. Measurements: Using a self-administered questionnaire, participants rated their interest in participating in survey/interview and therapeutic studies, identified potential benefits and barriers to research participation, and reported their preferences for who they would want to approach them about research participation. Results: Forty-six percent of hospice patients and 60% of caregivers reported an interest in interview or survey research participation; 45% and 57%, respectively, expressed interest in therapeutic research. Compared to hospice patients, caregivers reported higher rates of personal interest in both survey research (p = <0.001) and therapeutic research (p = <0.001) and were more likely to report that the hospice patients they cared for would be interested (p = 0.005 and p = 0.027). Younger hospice patients were more favorably disposed toward both survey and therapeutic research participation than hospice patients over the age of 75 (p = 0.063 and 0.011). The proportion of older hospice patients showing interest in research did not differ significantly from ambulatory senior citizens for either type of research (p = 0.56, 0.98). Conclusion: This study suggests that many hospice patients are interested in research participation and are able to articulate benefits and barriers, which supports the inclusion of this population in research. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Williams CJ; Shuster JL; Clay OJ; Burgio KL
  • Start Page

  • 968
  • End Page

  • 974
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 4