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Clinical trials: the viewpoint of children with a chronic illness compared with healthy children
  1. J Cherrill1,
  2. H Hudson1,
  3. C Cocking1,
  4. V Unsworth1,
  5. L Franck2,
  6. A Fakis3,
  7. J McIntyre1,
  8. I Choonara1
  1. 1Academic Division of Child Health, University of Nottingham, Derby, UK
  2. 2Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond St Hospital for Children, London, UK
  3. 3R & D Department, Derby City General Hospital, Derby, UK
  1. Correspondence to Imti Choonara, Academic Division of Child Health, The University of Nottingham, Derbyshire Children's Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby DE22 3DT, UK; imti.choonara{at}


The views of over 200 children (11–16 years old, who were either healthy or attending paediatric medical clinics with a chronic illness) on issues relating to paediatric clinical trials were determined by a questionnaire. Children with a chronic illness had a better understanding of the concept of dosing of medicines (40% vs 23%) and placebo (34% vs 20%). They were more likely to support children's involvement in clinical trials (51% vs 37%). The altruistic nature of children in both groups was similar. It was of concern, however, that 57–63% children would participate as healthy volunteers in a cancer drug trial. Both groups were able to differentiate between the different types of illnesses where it is appropriate to study medicines in children (86–89% for illness where there is no treatment; 34–40% for ‘me-too’ drugs). Young people should be given more opportunities to be involved in decision-making regarding clinical trials of medicines.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Derbyshire Research Ethics Committee (LREC Ref: 0203/469).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.