The optic neuritis treatment trial (ONTT) and subsequent studies have had a tremendous impact on the treatment and prognosis of optic neuritis and multiple sclerosis in adults. The results of these studies have been extrapolated to children; however, pediatric data are sparse. Using the method of prospective preference assessment, the willingness of parents and medical professionals to enroll children in a hypothetical Pediatric ONTT was assessed using a mock consent form and questionnaire. A three-arm trial was proposed: (1) intravenous corticosteroids, (2) high-dose oral corticosteroids, and (3) an oral placebo. The forms were completed by 198 parents and 49 physicians. After reviewing the hypothetical scenario, trial design, risks and benefits, and alternatives to the study, 21% of parents would enroll their children in the trial whereas 98% of medical professionals would enroll their patients. With medical professional recommendation, 43% of parents would enroll their children. The manner in which this hypothetical trial was presented to parents, specifically with respect to the recommendation of their child’s health care team, influenced a parent’s willingness to participate.
Keywords: optic neuritis, children, clinical trial, prospective preference assessment
Citation: Waldman AT, Shumski MJ, Jerrehian M and Liu GT (2011) Parent and medical professional willingness to enroll children in a hypothetical pediatric optic neuritis treatment trial. Front. Neur. 2:75. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2011.00075
Received: 12 October 2011;
Accepted: 13 November 2011;
Published online: 29 November 2011.
Edited by:Hanspeter E. Killer, Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland
Reviewed by:Jane W. Chan, University of Nevada School of Medicine, USA
Copyright: © 2011 Waldman, Shumski, Jerrehian and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence: Amy T. Waldman, Division of Neurology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Clinical Translational Research Building, 10th Floor, Room 10012, 3501 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org