Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

David Himmelgreen


competing demands, individual factors, organizational support, research participation, structural factors


Clinical trials play an important role in advancing therapeutic and preventive care with many current modalities resulting from prior research. While prior research has described barriers to participation in therapeutic clinical trials, much less in known about barriers related to participation in trials aimed at prevention, prostate cancer prevention in particular. Physicians have been shown to play a critical role in access to trials; however, less is known about the individual and structural factors that influence their participation in prostate cancer prevention trials. This research provides rich ethnographic detail within the context of an ongoing trial. Research participants included physician/investigators who were either directly (serving as a co-investigator) or peripherally (referring patients for participation) involved in prostate cancer prevention intervention clinical trial (PCPICT), as well as those who were considered for participation but declined. Methods included open ended semi-structured interviews, participant-observation and a survey. Participants were recruited via direct inquiry, email and/or letter regarding participation. The results of this study show that individual and structural factors intersect, influencing both the willingness and ability of physician/investigators to participate or refer patients for participation in a prostate cancer prevention intervention clinical trial. Individual factors such as explanatory views on prevention, notions of risk and uncertainty, shared decision-making and duality of roles appear to have a greater influence on the willingness of physicians to participate while structural factors such as staffing, other resources and time are more influential in regards to the ability to participate. This research served as a critical first step towards providing an in-depth understanding of the individual and structural factors that influence a physician's participation in this type of trial. It builds from prior work where a better understanding of barriers and identification of successful strategies to overcome them was a noted void. The researcher identifies areas where additional research would be beneficial and provides applied recommendations for those considering the design of future cancer prevention intervention projects.