HSR&D Citation Abstract
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The effect of physician permission versus notification on research recruitment through cancer registries (United States).
Beskow LM, Millikan RC, Sandler RS, Godley PA, Weiner BJ, Weinberger M. The effect of physician permission versus notification on research recruitment through cancer registries (United States). Cancer Causes & Control : Ccc. 2006 Apr 1; 17(3):315-23.
OBJECTIVE: To determine how physicians responded when investigators inquired about contacting patients identified through a central cancer registry, and to examine participation rates under physician permission versus notification approaches. METHODS: We analyzed existing data from seven observational epidemiologic studies conducted in North Carolina between 1993 and 2004, capitalizing on a 'natural experiment' that arose when the state registry changed from a policy requiring investigators to obtain physician permission to one requiring only physician notification. RESULTS: When a notification approach was used, physicians approved researcher contact with a higher proportion of patients, and a higher proportion of physicians approved contact with or provided eligibility information about all patients requested, compared with a permission approach. Among physicians who were contacted under both approaches, the proportion of patients for whom they approved contact or provided information was significantly higher when they were notified. Physician notification was also associated with higher patient contact and overall response rates. Patient cooperation rates did not differ between the two approaches, suggesting that patients did not respond negatively to the fact that their physician was not explicitly asked to provide permission. CONCLUSION: Notification is likely an efficient way of involving patients' physicians, providing opportunity for physician input but avoiding the burdens associated with requiring their permission.