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Education can improve clinician confidence in information sharing and willingness to refer to stem cell clinical trials for cerebral palsy

Abstract

To progress stem cell therapies for cerebral palsy, clinicians need to openly engage with patients about emerging evidence and be willing to refer to relevant clinical trials, if and when appropriate. To assess whether education can change clinicians’ confidence in information sharing and willingness to refer to relevant clinical trials, an online questionnaire was distributed at a scientific conference before and after a professional workshop on cell therapies for cerebral palsy. Of the 42 participants who completed the survey, 26 self-identified as clinicians. Of these, 81% had had patients ask about stem cells, yet in the pre-workshop questionnaire indicated they were not confident answering questions about cell therapies. Clinicians were most commonly asked about stem cell treatments provided by private clinics, stem cell research and current evidence. Post-workshop, knowledge and confidence regarding stem cells, as well as likelihood to refer to clinical trials using therapies with a strong evidence base (eg, umbilical cord blood/placental cells), significantly increased (p<0.001). This study highlights that by offering resources and education, clinician confidence and willingness to refer to cell therapy trials can improve; this may help drive the stem cell research landscape and support patient decision-making.

  • stem cells
  • education
  • medical
  • brain injuries

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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