There is a need of well-powered randomized clinical trials in fibromyalgia. However, challenges for recruitment are presented. This study aims to describe and assess the perception of barriers and facilitators and the associated factors for the participation of underrepresented and non-underrepresented fibromyalgia patients.
We performed an online survey through REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) targeting fibromyalgia patients from April 7 to July 3, 2020 during the COVID-19 stay home mandate and it was restricted to the United States of America. We described and compared the survey characteristics between underrepresented and non-underrepresented participants, and we performed logistic regression models to assess the associated factors with clinical trial participation.
In total, 481 completed the survey including 168 underrepresented fibromyalgia patients. Only (1) 11.09 % reported previous participation in clinical trials and the significant perceived barriers were investigator-related (lack of friendliness of research staff and the opportunity to receive the results) and center-related (privacy and confidentiality policies, and the institution’s reputation); (2) the participation rate and perceived barriers and facilitators were similar between underrepresented and non-underrepresented patients; and was positively associated with low income, higher age, and clinical trial awareness from their physician; and negatively associated with the perception of investigator-related barriers; and (4) for the underrepresented population, the presence of emotional support.
Our findings suggest low rates of participation, regardless of underrepresented population status. Strategies as involving their physician as liaison to increase the awareness of clinical trials, as well as improving patient-researcher communication should be considered in this population.

© 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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