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BACKGROUND: Relatively few studies have examined how patients with schizophrenia and depression view psychiatric research and what influences their readiness to participate. METHODS: A total of 763 patients (48% schizophrenia, 52% depression) from 7 European countries were examined using a specifically designed self-report questionnaire ["Hamburg Attitudes to Psychiatric Research Questionnaire" (HAPRQ)]. RESULTS: Most patients (98%) approved of psychiatric research, in general, at least "a little". There was a tendency to approve psychosocial rather than biological research topics (e.g. research on the role of the family by 91% of patients compared to 79% in genetics). Reasons to participate were mainly altruistic. Only a minority (28%) considered monetary incentives important. Patients wanted extensive background information and a feedback of the results; both were significantly more expressed by schizophrenia as compared to depressive patients, although these findings need to be interpreted with care because of age and gender differences between the diagnostic groups. CONCLUSION: While patients expressed discerning views of psychiatric research, only few differences were apparent between the two diagnostic groups. Patients' research priorities are not the same as those of many professionals and funding bodies. Their demonstrated critical appraisal should inform future research ensuring an increased patient role in the research process.

Original publication




Journal article


Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol

Publication Date





159 - 165


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Attitude to Health, Cross-Cultural Comparison, Depressive Disorder, Europe, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Patient Participation, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Research Subjects, Schizophrenia, Schizophrenic Psychology, Surveys and Questionnaires