Participant perspectives on a phase I/II ocular gene therapy trial (NCT02077361)

Stephanie P. Brooks, Shelly Benjaminy, Tania Bubela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To learn from the experiences of potential clinical trial participants, participants in a Phase 1 ocular gene therapy trial, and their partners to improve communications and trial conduct. Materials and methods: Primary and secondary qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews of potential participants (n = 20), clinical trial participants (n = 2) and their partners (n = 2) in a gene therapy clinical trial for choroideremia (NCT02077361). Analysis included: 1) thematic analysis of transcribed entrance and exit semi-structured interviews with trial participants and their partners; and 2) secondary qualitative analysis of interviews with potential trial participants, conducted prior to the initiation of the clinical trial. Results: Participants and partners who had received information during the consent process had a better understanding of the risks and benefits of participation in a Phase 1 gene therapy clinical trial than potential trial participants. However, participants and partners reported deficiencies in communication throughout the trial. Results highlight additional opportunities for trial staff to reinforce initial information about the trial, communicate logistical information and individual outcome data, and express appreciation for participation. Conclusions: Our study enabled clinical trial participants to describe their experiences in a clinical trial for a novel gene therapy. We provide practical recommendations to future clinical trial staff on communications and conduct participant perspectives. Communications strategies should address changing information needs over the course of the trial, express appreciation for participation and enable feedback from participants and their supporting family members, friends, or caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-281
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical trials
  • communication
  • Gene therapy
  • informed consent
  • patient-oriented research
  • trial conduct


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