Participants are showing great interest these days in obtaining the results of clinical trials. The aim of this study was to assess patients' uptake and understanding of the results of the trial in which they have participated and the impact of a letter offering patients the possibility of consulting the trial results on a specific website.
Breast cancer patients participating in a trial on the efficacy of Trastuzumab were randomly subdivided into an Internet group (who received the letter of invitation) and a control group (who did not receive it). Among 115 HER2-positive women from 21 centres, 107 (93%) answered a self-administered questionnaire.
Most of the patients in both groups had access to the Internet (72.0%). The majority (97.2%) stated that receiving information about the trial results would be useful, and the oncologist was the most frequently preferred information provider. The Internet group's declared uptake of the trial results was only slightly higher (47.1% vs 33.9% P=0.166); however, they understood the results significantly more accurately (18.8% vs 5.6% P=0.039).
Although Internet was not the respondents' preferred source of information, the possibility of using this source slightly increased the uptake and understanding of the results.
Keywords: breast cancer, randomised controlled trials, informing patients