Research and Insights

CJC at Association for Clinical and Translational Science 2018

April 19-20, 2018
Washington, D.C.

Rachel Damiani, doctoral student, Samantha Paige, doctoral student, Elizabeth Flood-Grady, STEM Translational Communication Center (STCC) post-doctoral associate, Vaughan James, doctoral student, Edward Neu, doctoral student and Janice Krieger, director, STCC

“Translation is a Team Sport”: Exploring Scientists’ Perceptions of a Clinical and Translational Science Institute as a Vehicle for Collaboration

Presenting:  Vaughan James

Abstract: Although collaborations among researchers are critical to advancing translational health research initiatives, scholars have discovered a myriad of barriers preventing scientists from effectively collaborating with one another. The National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) supports initiatives, such as the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program (CTSA), to alleviate these barriers by providing researchers with resources and a shared space to collaborate with one another. However, scientists’ perceptions of the value of the CTSA Program or its potential to foster interdisciplinary collaborations is largely unknown. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine how scientists perceive the role and value of the CTSA in terms of their collaborative pursuits.

Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, we conducted a survey (N = 913) followed by in-depth interviews (N = 15) with scientists at a CTSA-funded institution to assess their perceptions of the CTSI. Preliminary analysis indicates that many scientists lacked awareness about the breadth and accessibility of CTSA resources. Additionally, while many scientists viewed the CTSA as integral to the university, few perceived its resources as vital to their own collaborative research pursuits. We anticipate that this study’s results will lead to actionable recommendations that CTSIs can implement to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations among scientists across the translational research spectrum.

Elizabeth Flood-Grady, Vaughan James,  Janice Krieger

Community Forums as a Channel for Communicating with the Public to Influence Perceptions of Cancer Clinical Trials

Presenting:  Elizabeth Flood-Grady

Abstract: Cancer clinical trials (CCTs) are vital tools in the advancement of cancer prevention and treatment. Yet, only 3-5% of eligible patients enroll in CCTs. Low participation can be attributed, in part, to poor communication and a lack of understanding about CCTs. In order to increase participation, interventions should foster meaningful communication about cancer prevention and CCTs, especially between medical professionals and members of the community. Community forums offer a to communicate about cancer with members public and to educate prospective patients about CCTs. Thus, our goal was to evaluate the efficacy of conducting community forums about CCTs at changing public perceptions of cancer and CCT participation.

During the Spring of 2016, participants (N = 51) who attended a community forum about CCTs completed a pre-test and post-test survey assessing their understanding and perceptions of CCTs. Results from the pre to post-test survey revealed a significant positive increase (p = .01) in participants’ attitudes toward cancer clinical research as well as marginally significant increases in participants’ perceived subjective norms (p = .06) about participating in CCTs and the perceived personal relevance (p = .06) of clinical research participation pre- and post-test. Findings suggest that community forums about cancer and CCTs could lead to an increased awareness and understanding of CCTs among members of the population and could be useful channels for cancer interventions.