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Parent clinical trial priorities for fragile X syndrome: a best–worst scaling

Abstract

An expansion in the availability of clinical drug trials for genetic neurodevelopmental conditions is underway. Delineating patient priorities is key to the success of drug development and clinical trial design. There is a lack of evidence about parent decision-making in the context of clinical drug trials for genetic neurodevelopmental conditions. We assessed parents’ priorities when making a decision whether to enroll their child with fragile X syndrome (FXS) in a clinical drug trial. An online survey included a best–worst scaling method for parents to prioritize motivating and discouraging factors for child enrollment. Parents were recruited through the National Fragile X Foundation and FRAXA. Sequential best–worst with conditional logit analysis was used to determine how parents prioritize motivating and discouraging factors about trial enrollment decisions. Respondents (N = 354) were largely biological mothers (83%) of an individual with FXS who ranged in age from under 5 to over 21 years. The highest motivating factor was a trial to test a drug targeting the underlying FXS mechanism (coeff = 3.28, p < 0.001), followed by the potential of the drug to help many people (coeff = 3.03, p< 0.001). Respondents rated requirement of blood draws (coeff = −3.09, p < 0.001), loss of access to the drug post trial (coeff = −3.01, p < 0.001), and drug side effects (coeff = −2.96, p < 0.001) as most discouraging. The priorities defined by parents can be incorporated into evidence-based trial design and execution to enhance the enrollment process.

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Fig. 1: Best-worst scaling estimates and factor prioritization.
Fig. 2: Example best–worst scaling choice set.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the parents and caregivers who provided responses to the survey and those who helped with survey development. The authors are grateful to Dr Philip Shaw at the National Human Genome Research Institute for recruitment support. The authors would like to thank the National Fragile X Foundation and FRAXA for their help advertising our study.

Funding

This research study was funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute Intramural Research Program, National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Erin Turbitt.

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Turbitt, E., D’Amanda, C., Hyman, S. et al. Parent clinical trial priorities for fragile X syndrome: a best–worst scaling. Eur J Hum Genet (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41431-021-00922-w

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