Low enrollment within pediatric research increases the cost of research, decreases generalizability, and threatens to exacerbate existing health disparities. To assess barriers and facilitators to pediatric research participation and evaluate differences by enrollment status.
Data Sources include PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Web of Science. Study selection include peer reviewed articles that contained information related to facilitators and barriers to the parental decision whether to enroll their child in research and included the views of parents who declined. We extracted barriers and facilitators to research, enrollment status, and study characteristics, including study design, quality, and patient population.
Seventy articles were included for analysis. Facilitators of participation included: benefits, trust, support of research, informational and consent related, and relational issues. Common facilitators within those categories included health benefit to child (N = 39), altruism (N = 30), and the importance of research (N = 26). Barriers to participation included: study-related concerns, burdens of participation, lack of trust, general research concerns, informational and consent related, and relational issues. Common barriers within those categories included risks to child (N = 46), burdens of participation (N = 35), and the stress of the decision (N = 29). We had a limited ability to directly compare by enrollment status and no ability to analyze interactions between facilitators and barriers. We only included studies written in English.
This review identified key facilitators and barriers to research participation in pediatrics. The findings from this review may guide researchers aiming to create interventions to improve the parental experience of recruitment for pediatric studies and to optimize enrollment rates.

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