Background: Ensuring adequate, informed, and timely participation in clinical trials is a multifactorial problem. We have previously developed a systematic, tailorable survey development approach that is informed by theory, can identify barriers and enablers to participation, and can suggest recruitment strategies to address
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Background: Ensuring adequate, informed, and timely participation in clinical trials is a multifactorial problem. We have previously developed a systematic, tailorable survey development approach that is informed by theory, can identify barriers and enablers to participation, and can suggest recruitment strategies to address these issues. In this study, we surveyed subscribers to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) in order to identify a comprehensive list of theory-informed barriers and enablers relevant to participation in a hypothetical breast cancer trial. Methods: We developed and conducted an online survey of breast cancer patients informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework and designed to determine previous experience with clinical trials, knowledge about clinical trials, and importance of a comprehensive list of barriers and enablers to trial participation. Participants were contacted by email or through social media. Results: From 2451 subscribers of the CBCN, we received 244 responses and 210 completed surveys (244/2451 or 9.9% participation, 210/244 or 86.1% completion). A total of 38% of respondents indicated experience in trial participation, but 83% indicated confidence in their knowledge about clinical trials. Those who had previously participated in clinical trials were more confident in their knowledge (χ2
= 6.77, p
= 0.009) and answered more knowledge questions (t = −3.90 p
= 0.000). Endorsed barriers and enablers to participation included 39 factors across 12 of 14 domains relevant to behaviour change. Our approach identifies barriers that might be meaningfully addressed by careful knowledge provision (‘If I would learn more about my condition’; ‘If I find the trial documents hard to understand
’), those that may require other theory-informed approaches to address (‘my feelings about the quality of my drug plan
’; ‘my worry over unknown side effects
’), and those that may require tailored approaches depending on participant differences such as previous experience in trials (‘If there were patient-friendly decision-making tools to help you make your participation decision
’). Discussion: This work demonstrates that a comprehensive, theory-guided survey of barriers and enablers to participation in breast cancer clinical trials is feasible, can lead to detailed knowledge about the issues related to participation in specific trials, and most importantly, can lead to insights about evidence-based ways to better support patient participation.