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Disbursing Cash and Cash-Equivalent Incentives for Study Participants

By Piotr T. Dybas and David W. Allen

Participant incentives are transfers of value to study participants that encourage their participation in a clinical study and provide compensation for the time, inconvenience and discomfort that participation might cause. Most such incentives take the form of cash or a cash equivalent, and are commonly called “stipends.” This article will discuss the practical aspects of different types of cash and cash-equivalent incentives. It will not discuss reimbursement for participant expenses, such as parking, or other motivations, such as medical treatment or altruism.


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