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Recruitment of Low Income, Predominantly Minority Cancer Survivors to a Randomized Trial of the I Can Cope Cancer Education Program


This report describes recruitment of minority cancer survivors for a randomized trial of I Can Cope, a support program of the American Cancer Society. Survivor Education and Evaluation (SURE), was designed to recruit patients, age 19 and older, with a primary cancer diagnosis. Recruitment was primarily carried out in a public hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. Of 373 patients approached, 226 were eligible for the study, 175 consented, and 140 were randomized during the 20-month recruitment period. Only 43 declined participation. This resulted in a 61.9% recruitment yield. The mean age of participants was 54.2 years (SD=10.9), 92 (65.7%) were female, and 111 (79.3%) were African American. Twenty-three different cancers were represented including breast (37.1%), colorectal (12.1%), hematologic (12.9%), and lung (7.1%). Over half (63%) had been diagnosed within 12 months. The experience of the SURE project provides evidence for optimism in recruiting racial minorities to cancer research studies.