Background Participants in clinical trials as well as researchers conducting them, establish a close link between clinical trial and quality care. However, what understanding do they have of the concept of quality of care? This study aimed to answer this question by presenting the criteria which define for them quality care in the context of clinical research.
Methods The data were collected from the participants involved in these clinical trials as well as from the health workers (research teams and other health workers) using a qualitative approach with 70 in-depth interviews. Direct observations of the participants partaking in care activities were also made in both health districts. The data were recorded, transcribed and then analysed on the thematic content basis.
Results For the health workers interviewed, the clinical trials are conducted in optimal conditions which highly contribute to ensure a good quality of care. To them, quality of care in the process of the trial implementation is evident from some availability of qualified human resources, quality medico-technical equipment, as well as good clinical practice strictly adhered to by the researchers.
As for the participants, the quality of care in clinical trials meets specific criteria. To them, quality care delivered by the research team became tangible through laboratory tests before any treatment proposal, the promptness in taking care of any discomfort, as well as the regular and permanent follow-up of the patient until recovery of his health. Blood sampling for laboratory examinations was highly appreciated and mentioned by our respondents as the main indicator of the quality of care provided by the research teams.
Conclusion The quality of care according to the criteria the participants and the health workers assigned to it, is intrinsically linked to clinical trials.
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