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Open AccessArticle

French Public Familiarity and Attitudes toward Clinical Research during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
CEPED (UMR 196), Université de Paris, IRD, 75006 Paris, France
2
SESSTIM, Sciences Economiques & Sociales de la Santé & Traitement de l’Information Médicale, CANBIOS Team (Équipe Labellisée LIGUE 2019), Aix-Marseille University, INSERM, IRD, 13009 Marseille, France
3
CERMES3, INSERM, CNRS, EHESS, Université de Paris, 94801 Villejuif, France
4
VITROME, Aix-Marseille University, IRD, AP-HM, SSA, 13005 Marseille, France
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Institut COVID-19 Add Memoriam, University of Paris, 75006 Paris, France
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WHO Collaborative Center for Research on Health and Humanitarian Policies and Practices, IRD, Université de Paris, 75006 Paris, France
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Society and Environment, Medical Anthropology, and Public Health, University of Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Study IMéRA, Institut Paoli Calmettes, Aix-Marseille University, 13004 Marseille, France
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BioSTIC, APHM, Timone, 13005 Marseille, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: CEPED, 45 Rue des Saints-Pères, 75006 Paris, France.
Academic Editor: Roy McConkey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2611; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052611
Received: 2 February 2021 / Revised: 2 March 2021 / Accepted: 2 March 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
The COVID-19 pandemic put clinical research in the media spotlight globally. This article proposes a first measure of familiarity with and attitude toward clinical research in France. Drawing from the “Health Literacy Survey 2019” (HLS19) conducted online between 27 May and 5 June 2020 on a sample of the French adult population (N = 1003), we show that a significant proportion of the French population claimed some familiarity with clinical trials (64.8%) and had positive attitudes (72%) toward them. One of the important findings of this study is that positive attitudes toward clinical research exist side by side with a strong distancing from the pharmaceutical industry. While respondents acknowledged that the pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in clinical research (68.3%), only one-quarter indicated that they trust the industry (25.7%). Positive attitudes toward clinical trials were associated with familiarity with clinical trials (Odds Ratio, OR 2.97 [1.90–4.63]), financial difficulties (OR 0.63 [0.46–0.85]), as well as mistrust of doctors (0.48 [0.27–0.85]) and of scientists (OR 0.62 [0.38–0.99]). Although the French media provided a great deal of information on how clinical research works during the first months of the pandemic, there remains profound mistrust of the pharmaceutical industry in France. This suspicion can undermine crisis management, especially in the areas of vaccine development and preparation for future pandemics. View Full-Text
Keywords: clinical research; public attitudes; survey; COVID-19; pharmaceutical industry; media coverage clinical research; public attitudes; survey; COVID-19; pharmaceutical industry; media coverage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schultz, É.; Ward, J.K.; Atlani-Duault, L.; Holmes, S.M.; Mancini, J. French Public Familiarity and Attitudes toward Clinical Research during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2611. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052611

AMA Style

Schultz É, Ward JK, Atlani-Duault L, Holmes SM, Mancini J. French Public Familiarity and Attitudes toward Clinical Research during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(5):2611. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052611

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schultz, Émilien; Ward, Jeremy K.; Atlani-Duault, Laëtitia; Holmes, Seth M.; Mancini, Julien. 2021. "French Public Familiarity and Attitudes toward Clinical Research during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 5: 2611. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052611

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