Assessing Barriers to Clinical Trial Enrollment Among African American Cancer Survivors in Louisville




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Purpose: Despite comprising approximately 22% of the population of Louisville, KY, African Americans comprise about 9% of cancer clinical trial (CCT) participants. Nationally, minority participation in clinical trials is also low, with African Americans making up between 4-6% of CCT participants, despite constituting 15% of all US cancer patients. The goal of this study is to examine factors contributing to low African American participation in cancer clinical trials, specifically within the Louisville area. Previous research attributes low CCT participation to generational mistrust stemming from historical abuses of Blacks in clinical research. Research has demonstrated that low cancer literacy, lack of familiarity with clinical trials, and implicit bias can contribute to low minority recruitment to clinical trials. In order to make CCTs more representative of the general population, increasing generalizability of results, barriers must be understood before successful interventions can be trialed. Methods: By conducting focus groups and individual interviews with African American cancer survivors (AACS) (n=33), we sought to understand the barriers to CCT participation in the Louisville area. Results: The qualitative study revealed that a majority of AACS had not received information about CCTs from their healthcare teams, but a majority expressed interest in receiving information about CCTs. Conclusion: This data, though potentially confounded by the composition of the cohorts analyzed, suggests a need for community outreach and education specifically centered around CCTs.

Keywords:[Cancer clinical trials, representation, barriers, cancer survivors]