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Personal Benefit Motivates Medical Research Participation

Sense of pride in contributing to benefit of others also an important factor

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients participated in the Evaluation of Subcutaneous Proleukin (Interleukin-2) in a Randomized International Trial (ESPRIT) study because they hoped to personally benefit from the results, but they also felt a sense of pride in participating to help others, according to a report published in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

David Wendler, Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues polled 582 Thai, Brazilian and Argentinean participants in the study, and gave them 12 possible reasons for continuing in the study for more than six months.

The possibility of personally benefiting from the study was cited by more than 75 percent of participants, but the same number also cited helping others as a motivating factor. In all, eight options were deemed to be 'very important' by at least 75 percent of respondents.

"The majority of participants expressed pride that they were contributing to an effort to gather generalizable knowledge that might help others, and almost half described their role in the ESPRIT study as that of a 'participant,' suggesting that they regarded themselves as active contributors to the scientific goals of the ESPRIT study, not simply as passive objects or things being experimented on," the authors write.

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