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Pediatric Nephrologists’ Beliefs Regarding Randomized Controlled Trials
  1. Aaron G. Wightman, MD*,,
  2. Assaf P. Oron, PhD,
  3. Jordan M. Symons, MD*,,
  4. Joseph T. Flynn, MD, MS*,
  1. From the *Division of Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine; †Division of Nephrology, Seattle Children’s Hospital; and ‡Core for Biomedical Statistics, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, WA.
  1. Received August 8, 2013, and in revised form September 19, 2013.
  2. Accepted for publication September 24, 2013.
  3. This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health training grant: 5 T32 DK007662.
  4. Reprints: Aaron G. Wightman, MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital Division of Nephrology, Mailstop: OC.9.820, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. E-mail: Aaron.wightman{at}


Background Pediatrics and pediatric nephrology lag behind adult medicine in producing randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Physician attitudes have been shown to play a significant role in RCT enrollment.

Methods We surveyed members of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology regarding beliefs about RCTs and factors influencing decisions to recommend RCT enrollment. Regression analyses were used to identify the effects of variables on an aggregate score summarizing attitudes toward RCTs.

Results One hundred thirty replies were received. Sixty-six percent had enrolled patients in RCTs. Respondents in practice for more than 15 years were more likely to have recruited a patient to an RCT than those in practice for less than 5 years. Respondents were more willing to recommend RCT enrollment if the study was multicenter, patients were sicker or had a poorer prognosis, or if the parent or participant received a financial incentive versus the provider. In multiple regression analysis, history of enrolling patients in an RCT was the only significant predictor of higher aggregate RCT-friendly attitude.

Conclusions Many pediatric nephrologists have never enrolled a patient in an RCT, particularly those in practice for less than 5 years. Respondents who have not enrolled patients in RCTs have a less RCT-friendly attitude. Provision of improved training and resources might increase participation of junior providers in RCTs.

Key Words
  • randomized controlled trials
  • clinical trials
  • education
  • pediatric nephrology

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