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Title: Perception of Clinical Research amongst Clinical Investigators in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Najmudeen Sulthan

Topic: Clinical Research


Background: Promoting clinical research is important, considering the shortage of clinical investigators and the increasing need for large number of multicenter studies. Participation of clinical Investigators in research is crucial to achieve this goal. Saudi Arabian provinces have infrastructure to promote the research activities. But that is not the case, as the growth of the clinical industry is sluggish as compared with the other MENA region. The objective of this study was to explore attitudes of clinical investigators towards the conducting of clinical trials in Saudi Arabia and the barriers faced by them.


Methods: A questionnaire based survey was administered to 100 Clinical researchers from different therapeutic background that has clinical research experience at least one or above. The survey was carried out in various hospitals from different province Saudi Arabia. It consisted of questions/ statements on previous research experience, interests and barriers. Responses were either Yes/No

answers or graded according to the 5-point Likert scale.


Conclusions: The majority of Clinical Researchers working at therapeutic department of various academic hospitals were interested in conducting research. But the lack of time, financial compensation and encouragement were perceived as significant barriers.


Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Perception, Barrier, Financial compensation


    COMMENT - 1

  • PRAJNA KUMAR (Viewer) 29th Jan 2015 - 8:24 PM

    Given that Saudi Arabia had the highest prevalence of diabetes in the 20-79 years population in 2012. It is the center for religious tourism in the Gulf. The Hajj pilgrimage attracts millions of pilgrims each year, thus providing a market for large volumes of vaccines and OTC drugs.The regions, increasing general health awareness, rising medical insurance coverage and government measures to boost the local drug manufacturing segment are expected to positively impact the pharmaceutical market in the kingdom. The topic of the research is interesting because Saudi Arabia has invested $32billion in health care facilities in the last 5 years and now supports 139 major hospitals and 220 primary care centres from which clinical research can be conducted. I am interested in knowing a bit more about your research-
    1. How did you validate your survey instrument?
    2. How was the sampe population selected "Random sampling" or randomly sampled from a set population?
    3. The research design seem to be non experimental, survey, observational design, How was bias addressed?
    4. What statistical control measures were used for analysis?
    5. What was your research question and hypothesis? What were you expecting and how that differed or aligned with the data?
    6. How did you adjust for sample power?
    7.How was the inrenal and external validity maintained?
    8. How and Why do you think this data is generalizable?
    9. I was unable to see references cited for "lack of CT investigators" in SA or shortage of CT investigators. Here are few references: "There has been a documented decline in the number of physician-scientists in the medical practice (Solomon et al., 2003). Postulated explanations for the decline include less financial incentive, family, practice philosophy and inadequate exposure to research before career paths are determined (Bickel and Morgan, 1980 and Khan and Khawaja, 2007)." "A news report from CenterWatch, a Boston-based newsletter covering the clinical trials industry, predicts that by 2005 there will not be enough clinical investigators to handle the growing number of drugs in clinical trials. Published in the April issue of the CenterWatch newsletter, the report estimates that there may be as much as a 15% investigator shortfall for industry-sponsored research studies."

    It seems that the data is still in very draft analysis phase and I hope you address some of the questions above in your thesis and final paper as this certainly seems to be publishable material.

  • COMMENT - 2

  • AUGUSTINE ANAYOCHUKWU ONYEAGHALA (Viewer) 30th Jan 2015 - 3:06 AM
    What is the translational benefits of this study especially is RSA?

  • COMMENT - 3

  • IFFAT AHMED (Viewer) 31st Jan 2015 - 12:32 PM
    Your article is quite informative about Clinical Research perceptions in Saudi Arabia. I live in Saudi Arabia too, & according to me, when compared to other countries,the population as subjects available for clinical trials here is lesser. And also the community of people found here cannot be easily convinced to participate in Clinical trials, as most of them are above the poverty scale and therefore in no need of financial compensation from trials. So my question is, what are the best practices that you would adopt for subject recruitment?
    Thank you.

  • COMMENT - 4

  • MANAN K TRIVEDI (Viewer) 5th Feb 2015 - 5:54 PM
    Dear Najmudeen, It was nice attempt to get information about attitudes of clinical investigators towards conducting of clinical trials in S.Arabia. Howerver from your conclusion it did not seem that objective of the research paper addressed as it was asking attitudes of clinical investigators from various clinical research professionals right? so these attitudes and barriers should be discussed which clinical research professional has answer while your conclusion says that CR professionals are interested in conducting research and all but what they spoke about clinical investigators and their attitudes and what barriers the face for the same?

  • COMMENT - 5

  • BOYINA CHAYA DEVI (Viewer) 6th Feb 2015 - 12:28 AM
    Dear Najmudeen, nice article and i do agree with Mr.Prajna. After reviewing the article i felt cultural factors are obstructing the development of the clinical research in Saudi, the same leading to poor subject recruitment. Saudi Government has to take the initiative for developing/ formulating the guidelines to improve the CR, and give awareness to the people regarding the importance of CR which will help Saudi people and the Government.

  • COMMENT - 6

  • AUGUSTINE ANAYOCHUKWU ONYEAGHALA (Viewer) 8th Feb 2015 - 2:39 AM
    Good idea friends, but policy formulation has to be based on the availability of impeccable evidence based research which can only be generated through well formulated research.