Exploring Attitudes To Dengue Research Involving Human Subjects Among University Students In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (SEED)


Principal Investigators
Professor Bridget Wills 
Professor Tran Diep Tuan, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City
Professor Do Van Dung, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City

Study Design
Cohort study

This study recruits a cohort of university students undertaking their studies in Ho Chi Minh City to explore their perceptions and views of clinical and public health-orientated research focused on dengue and to examine factors that influence these views.


Many types of dengue research are taking place in Vietnam. At OUCRU, dengue clinical research efforts include observational studies, cohort studies, therapeutic intervention trials and human-to-mosquito transmission studies, some of which involve vulnerable populations such as children and/or very sick patients in intensive care units. In addition, novel research approaches, such as the use of human challenge models, are under consideration.

All such research must be performed in accordance with internationally recognized standards for ethical and scientific quality, but it is also crucially important that due attention is paid to the views and principles of Vietnamese stakeholders and research collaborators. Senior local stakeholders are always involved in discussions and decision-making with respect to research undertaken at OUCRU, but as yet, there has been little focus on exploring the understanding and opinions of younger generations of Vietnamese society, who may hold a different range of views from older generations.

This proposal is intended to address this issue by reaching out to those who may become involved in the execution of research studies in the future, either as junior clinicians and/or scientists contributing to data collection or laboratory studies or potentially as future research participants. We see an important role for engagement with stakeholders at all levels in order to facilitate open discussion of complex issues and to ensure a truly equitable and balanced approach to clinical and scientific research going forward, especially as the breadth and range of potential dengue studies expands.


  1. To explore perceptions and attitudes to dengue research involving human subjects among a cohort of HCMC university students and their family members and to assess socio-cultural factors contributing to these views;
  2. To monitor trends in understanding or shifting perceptions over time in the students’ views of dengue research involving human subjects, as their general knowledge and experience accrues during their university careers;
  3. To improve our understanding of public perceptions and possible barriers to acceptance of clinical research in Viet Nam to better design informational material and public engagement activities for future research, especially for novel or complex studies.

Initially, we plan to focus on medical and public health students in their early university careers and to follow them for several years. Later, we may expand the study to include other student groups whose area of study is not related to health or medical sciences.




University of Medicine and Pharmacy

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