Background: African Americans (AA) are not well-represented in cancer clinical trials despite having significantly higher cancer mortality rates than their European-American (EA) counterparts.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate a program to improve perceptions of cancer clinical trials among AA.
Methods: The program was conducted in a convenience sample of 195 participants (75.4% AA) who lived in counties with high racial disparities in cancer mortality rates and who were recruited by community partners. The 30-minute program, part of a larger 3.5-hour cancer education program, was developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI). It was modified to include additional pictures of AA, AA-specific cancer mortality data, and information about the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the resulting improved participant protection measures.
Measures: The seven-item Attitudes to Randomized Trial Questionnaire (ARTQ) was used to evaluate changes in trial perceptions from pre- to posttest. Additional survey items assessed general demographic characteristics.
Results: Slightly more than half of the participants had at least a college diploma (54.4%), 45.1% were married/living as married, 53.3% were female, and 45.6% had an annual household income of less than $40,000. For each ARTQ item, most participants who had less favorable perceptions of trials at pretest changed to more positive perceptions at posttest (p < .001).
Conclusions: Providing cancer clinical trial information led to more positive perceptions of cancer clinical trials. In future studies, the program could be used to help potential trial participants make informed decisions about participation; trial enrollment rates could then be evaluated.