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Paying hypertension research subjects.

Casarett D, Karlawish J, Asch DA. Paying hypertension research subjects. Journal of general internal medicine. 2002 Aug 1; 17(8):650-2.

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CONTEXT: Cash payments are often used to compensate subjects who participate in research. However, ethicists have argued that these payments might constitute an undue inducement. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether potential subjects agree with theoretical arguments that a payment could be an undue inducement. DESIGN/SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Survey of 350 prospective jurors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Belief that a 500 dollar payment for research participation would impair their own, and others' ability to think carefully about the risks and benefits of a clinical trial. RESULTS: Two hundred sixty-one jurors (74.6%) believed that a 500 dollar payment would impair subjects' ability to think carefully about the risks and benefits of research. Ninety-six of 120 (80%) expressed this concern about subjects with a low income ( < 20,000 dollars) compared to 92/117 (79%) of those with a middle income (20,000 dollars to 50,000 dollars), and 73/113 (65%) with a high income ( > 50,000 dollars). In contrast, only 69 (19.7%) of jurors believed that a 500 dollar payment would influence them. Jurors who believed that this payment would influence them reported lower incomes and less education. CONCLUSION: Members of the general public share ethical concerns about the influence of payments for research, although they believe that these concerns are more applicable to others than to themselves.

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