Stakeholder perspectives on data sharing from pragmatic clinical trials: Unanticipated challenges for meeting emerging requirements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Numerous arguments have been advanced for broadly sharing de-identified, participant-level clinical trial data. However, data sharing in pragmatic clinical trials (PCTs) presents ethical challenges. While prior scholarship has described aspects of PCTs that raise distinct considerations for data sharing, there have been no reports of the experiences of those at the leading edge of data-sharing efforts for PCTs, including how these particular challenges have been navigated. To address this gap, we conducted interviews with key stakeholders, with a focus on the ethical issues presented by sharing data from PCTs. Methods: We recruited respondents using purposive sampling to reflect the range of stakeholder groups affected by efforts to expand PCT data sharing. Through semi-structured interviews, we explored respondents' experiences and perceptions about sharing de-identified, individual-level data from PCTs. An integrated approach was used to identify and describe key themes. Results: We conducted 40 interviews between April and September 2022. Five overarching themes emerged through analysis: (1) challenges in sharing data collected under a waiver or alteration of consent; (2) conflicting views regarding PCT patient-subject preferences for data sharing; (3) identification of respect-promoting practices beyond consent; (4) concerns about elevated risks or burdens from sharing PCT data; and (5) diverse views about the likely benefits resulting from sharing PCT data. Conclusion: Our data indicate unresolved tensions in how to fulfill the expectation to broadly share de-identified, individual-level data from PCTs, and suggest that those promulgating and implementing data-sharing policies must be sensitive to PCT-specific considerations. Future work could inform efforts to tailor data-sharing policy and practice to reflect the challenges presented by PCTs, including sharing experiences from trials that have successfully navigated these tensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLearning Health Systems
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • data sharing
  • ethics
  • individual participant data
  • pragmatic clinical trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Information Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Stakeholder perspectives on data sharing from pragmatic clinical trials: Unanticipated challenges for meeting emerging requirements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this