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A Tale of Three Cultures

A Tale of Three Cultures

(p.75) 3 A Tale of Three Cultures
Adverse Events
Jill A. Fisher
NYU Press

Despite similar financial goals among healthy volunteers, there are regional differences in the culture of Phase I participation. Chapter 3 focuses on this theme to further unpack variations in how patterns of imbricated stigma influence healthy volunteers’ perceptions of Phase I trials, particularly with respect to the longevity of their study involvement. Specifically, East Coast participants tend to be well-networked as part of their long-term, active pursuit of clinical trials, but they often also express anti-capitalist critiques of the industry. In comparison, Midwesterners tend to be more passive about their trial participation, thinking of it as a short-term financial opportunity to counterbalance a temporary setback. West Coast participants occupy a hybrid culture between those of the East Coast and Midwest participants, actively seeking out new studies but expressing a distrust in the clinics and wanting to limit their study involvement. These regional cultures act as a prism for healthy volunteers’ perceptions of Phase I trials, shaping whether and how they adopt identities as research participants.

Keywords:   Phase I trials, healthy volunteers, clinical trial culture, United States, identity, research participation, imbricated stigma, regional differences

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