Perceptions and attitudes toward participation in clinical research in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Mohamed Aabdien - , Community Medicine Training Program: Medical Education (Author)
  • Ibtihal Abdallah - , Clinical Pharmacy Department (Author)
  • Mohamed Iheb Bougmiza - , Workforce Development & Training - Family & Community Medicine Department (Author)
  • Timo Siepmann - , Department of Neurology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden (Author)
  • Ben Illigens - , Harvard Medical School (HMS) (Author)


INTRODUCTION: Successful recruitment of participants into clinical research has always been challenging and is affected by many factors. This systematic review aimed to explore the perceptions and attitudes as well as identify the factors affecting the participation in clinical research among the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office countries' population.

METHODS: A systematic search of the literature was conducted to explore attitudes or perceptions of the general public or patients towards participation in clinical research. PubMed, Pro-Quest Central, World Health Organizations Index Medicus for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and Google Scholar were searched. Studies were considered eligible for inclusion if they presented primary data and were conducted in one of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office countries. A data extraction sheet was used to record the following: year, country, aim, population, sample size, study design, data collection, and setting. The identified factors from the included studies were categorized into motivators and barriers.

RESULTS: In total, 23 original research articles were identified that addressed perceptions or attitudes towards clinical research participation. Six main motivators and barriers of research participation among patients, the general public, and patient family members were identified. The most common cited motivators included personal benefits to the individual, altruism and the desire to help others, the research process, the influence of the physician, family encouragement, and religion. Concerns regarding safety, confidentiality, and other factors in addition to the research process, lack of trust in healthcare providers or healthcare system, lack of interest in research and no perceived personal benefit, religious concerns, and family/cultural concerns were the most cited barriers to participation.

CONCLUSION: The identified motivators and barriers are essential to tackle during clinical research planning among the population of Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office countries. Further research is needed to assess the attitudes and perceptions of individuals approached to participate in trials.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e29959
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2022

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC9388020
Scopus 85136148476



  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Physicians, Religion, Sample Size, Trust