New poll shows minority populations support clinical trials to improve health of others

July 31, 2013

Altruism is a strong motivating factor for clinical trial participation in the general population and even more so among several minority groups. A significant percentage of African-Americans (61%), Hispanics (57%) and Asians (50%) say it's very important to participate as a volunteer in a clinical trial to improve the health of others, compared to 47% of non-Hispanic whites, according to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America.

These findings are tempered by the reality that participation remains disturbingly low among all groups. When asked if they or someone in their family has ever participated in a clinical trial, only 17% of Hispanics, 15% of African-Americans, 15% of non-Hispanic whites and 11% of Asians said yes.

Only about a quarter of African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians say they have heard about clinical trials from their doctor or other . The percentage is even lower among non-Hispanic whites (19%). On the positive side, a strong majority—75% of Hispanics, 72% of African-Americans, 71% of non-Hispanic whites and 65% of Asians—say they would likely participate in a clinical trial if recommended by a doctor.

"The poll reveals a willingness among minorities to participate in clinical trials to improve , but enrollment remains stubbornly low," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. "We must continue to strive toward reaching all segments of the population to boost the level of participation in order to further medical progress."

Lack of trust is a major reason that individuals don't participate in clinical trials, according to more than half of African-Americans (61%), Hispanics (52%), Asians (51%) and non-Hispanic whites (54%). In fact, 40% of African-Americans believe people are enrolled in clinical trials without being told, compared to 36% of Hispanics, 35% of Asians and 27% of non-Hispanic whites who are of this opinion. When asked how important the competence and of people of the institution conducting the research would be in the decision to participate as a volunteer in a clinical trial, 73% of African-Americans, 66% of Hispanics and 66% of Asians said very important, compared to 72% of non-Hispanic whites, reinforcing the importance of trust among all groups.

As is true for the population overall, the Internet is a main source of information for clinical trials among minority populations, followed closely by doctors. The poll findings illustrate the need for increased communication between patients and providers about clinical research.

"The views of tend to mirror those of the general population in terms of their support for clinical trials overall and reasons why they and others do not participate," Woolley added. "It's imperative that health care providers and others help patients gain a deeper knowledge of clinical trials so all Americans can benefit from lifesaving treatments."

Many respondents believe health care providers should play a major role in raising awareness of clinical trials. In fact, 38% of Hispanics, 36% of Asians and 33% of African-Americans said providers have the greatest responsibility in educating the public about clinical trials, as did 42% of non-Hispanic whites.

Among other findings:

  • Nearly half of African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics say they greatly admire individuals who volunteer for , compared to 35% of non-Hispanic whites.
  • About one-third of all respondents, including sampled, do not believe that they receive services based on the best and most recent research available and, further, say that we are not making enough progress in medical research in the U.S.
  • Approximately three-quarters of all respondents said, assuming the correct privacy protections were in place, they are willing to share personal health information so researchers can better understand diseases and develop new ways to prevent, treat and cure them and to advance medical research.
  • More than a third of Hispanics (37%) thinks a person receives better medical care if enrolled in a trial, compared to 29% of Asians, 26% of African-Americans and 27% of non-Hispanic whites.

The nationwide survey was conducted by Zogby Analytics for Research!America, the Association of Clinical Research Organizations, the Clinical Research Forum, the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, and the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative. The margin of error for the sample sizes range from +/-3.8 to +/-5.7 percentage points.

Explore further: How to boost Hispanics' participation in clinical trials? Relate to them, study shows

More information: www.researchamerica.org/upload … trialsminorities.pdf

Related Stories

How to boost Hispanics' participation in clinical trials? Relate to them, study shows

June 27, 2013
Hispanic cancer patients rarely participate in clinical trials, but researchers want to tailor a Spanish DVD to help change this. To create a relevant educational tool, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers investigated why awareness ...

Research finds racial, ethnic disparities in health care among older male cancer survivors

July 12, 2013
Older African-American and Hispanic men who have survived cancer are less likely than their white counterparts to see a specialist or receive basic preventive care, such as vaccinations, according to new research from Wake ...

Multiple sclerosis may not be as rare as thought in African-Americans

May 6, 2013
Contrary to a widely accepted belief, African-Americans may have a higher rather than lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than Caucasians, according to a new study in the May 7, 2013, print issue of Neurology.

Hispanics live longest, whites shortest among dialysis patients

March 28, 2013
Among kidney failure patients on dialysis, Hispanics tend to live the longest and Whites the shortest, with Blacks' survival time in between these two, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal ...

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.