Racial Differences Among Factors Associated with Participation in Clinical Research Trials.

Anita Kurt PhD, RN, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Lauren Semler
Jeanne L. Jacoby MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Melanie B. Johnson MPA, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Beth Careyva MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Brian Stello MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Timothy J. Friel MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Mark Knouse MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Hope Kincaid MPH, CPH, Lehigh Valley Health Network
John C. Smulian MD, MPH, Lehigh Valley Health Network


OBJECTIVE: To identify whether racial differences exist among various factors associated with patients' decision to participate in clinical research trials.

METHODS: A self-administered, IRB-approved survey was utilized with inclusion criteria requiring subjects to be 18 years of age or older, having active patient status and ability to complete the survey without assistance. Subjects were asked to rate potential influential motivators, barriers, and facilitators on a "no influence" (0) to "most influence" (4) scale for participation in research that tests a new drug or device. Kruskal-Wallis testing was used to identify factors significantly associated with race.

RESULTS: Analysis included 1643 surveys: 949 (57.8 %) Caucasian; 217 (13.2 %) African-American; 317 (19.3 %) Hispanic; 62 (3.8 %) Multiracial; and 98 (6.0 %) "Other" minorities. Statistically significant differences (p ≤ .02) by race were found for five out of ten motivating factors. "How well the research study is explained to me" had the highest mean value for all races except other minorities, for whom "Knowledge learned from my participation will benefit someone in the future" scored highest. "Risk of unknown side-effects" was the greatest barrier for all races.

CONCLUSION: Racial differences exist not only between Caucasians and Minorities for the factors associated with their clinical trial participation, but also among different minority races themselves. To promote diversity in research, recruitment strategies for each individual race should be customized based on what matters to the target population.