Brooks, Monique M.; Paschal, Angelia M.; Sly, Jamilia R.; Hsiao, Tracy
June 2009
American Journal of Health Studies;2009, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p298
Academic Journal
Objectives: Lack of minority participation in clinical trials is a public health concern in the United States due to significant health disparities within the minority community. This qualitative exploratory study examined barriers that prevent African American women from participating in clinical trials. Methods: Twenty-nine female African Americans participated in four focus groups. Responses were coded and themes were identified using the data. Results: Five major factors affected participation in clinical trials: (1) fear; (2) mistrust of the medical community; (3) lack of knowledge about clinical trials; (4) misinformation; and (5) past history/negativity surrounding clinical trials. Participants suggested four strategies to enhance participation: (1) educate and inform participants and young people in schools about clinical trials and the research process prior to and throughout participation in the study; (2) utilize professionals considered trustworthy; (3) consider diversity among professionals; and (4) make concerted efforts to invite African Americans to participate in clinical trials by conducting outreach. Conclusions: African American female participation in clinical trials is influenced by several factors. Overcoming these barriers will require collaboration among healthcare professionals to educate participants about clinical trials as well as significant community outreach.


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