Background: Understanding the experiences of patients with solid tumors who are in phase 1 clinical trials can help nurses to provide optimal care.
Objectives: The purpose of this article is to describe patient perspectives of participating in a phase 1 trial and understanding their disease status and treatment options. In addition, the authors describe the impact of the disease and clinical trial participation on quality of life.
Methods: 30 patients were interviewed and audio recorded; the interviews were transcribed and content analysis methods were used to identify common themes.
Findings: Patients reported participating in the phase 1 clinical trial because their doctors informed and encouraged them, they had no other treatment options if they wanted to live longer, or they wanted to help future patients with cancer. Most believed that participation would improve or stabilize their illness and quality of life. They believed that, when the clinical trial ended, there would be new treatments. Participants reported that healthcare providers and family members provided support, and that compassion, cultural awareness, spiritual support, and the need for individual attention were important.