Submission Title

A Matter of Trust: Ethical Concerns Surrounding the Use of Financial Incentives in Research with Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

Presenter Information

Adele Flaherty, MA

PhD Student

Center for Healthcare Ethics

Abstract

Clinical trials are an essential element of the healthcare process. Knowledge gained from clinical research allows researchers to not only develop screening and diagnosing tools, as well as interventions for treatment and prevention of disease, they also generate understanding and appreciation of the unique experiences of subjects. One of the biggest obstacles to clinical trials is participation. In many clinical trials, incentives are offered to address this concern. There is an ongoing debate as to the ethical nature of offering incentives in exchange for participation in clinical research. With the rise in opioid use disorder (OUD) over the past two decades, there is increased interest in conducting research on interventions for those with an OUD. This recent development has revived interests related to the benefits and risks regarding research on this population. Ethical concerns related to their inclusion, including the use of incentives, have often led to the underrepresentation of this population in studies related to opioid use, as well as other unrelated clinical trials. This paper examines an ethical framework specific to human subjects research with particular attention paid to concerns surrounding individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) - including those with an OUD. Potential solutions to concerns related to the inclusion of individuals with a SUD and suggestions for future research will also be explored and discussed. These include the use of stigma reducing interventions and recently developed harm reduction principles designed for use in healthcare settings that also have the potential for application in clinical research protocols

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Advisor

Joris Gielen

Submission Type

Poster

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A Matter of Trust: Ethical Concerns Surrounding the Use of Financial Incentives in Research with Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

Clinical trials are an essential element of the healthcare process. Knowledge gained from clinical research allows researchers to not only develop screening and diagnosing tools, as well as interventions for treatment and prevention of disease, they also generate understanding and appreciation of the unique experiences of subjects. One of the biggest obstacles to clinical trials is participation. In many clinical trials, incentives are offered to address this concern. There is an ongoing debate as to the ethical nature of offering incentives in exchange for participation in clinical research. With the rise in opioid use disorder (OUD) over the past two decades, there is increased interest in conducting research on interventions for those with an OUD. This recent development has revived interests related to the benefits and risks regarding research on this population. Ethical concerns related to their inclusion, including the use of incentives, have often led to the underrepresentation of this population in studies related to opioid use, as well as other unrelated clinical trials. This paper examines an ethical framework specific to human subjects research with particular attention paid to concerns surrounding individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) - including those with an OUD. Potential solutions to concerns related to the inclusion of individuals with a SUD and suggestions for future research will also be explored and discussed. These include the use of stigma reducing interventions and recently developed harm reduction principles designed for use in healthcare settings that also have the potential for application in clinical research protocols