Studies Assess Effectiveness of Efforts To Recruit Minorities in Clinical Trials, Hepatitis B Education Program for Asian-Americans
- "Recruiting Diverse Patients to a Breast Cancer Risk Communication Trial --Waiting Rooms Can Improve Access," Journal of the National Medical Association: Researchers examined a specific health research recruitment effort to assess potential reasons for low participation among underserved populations and whether certain interventions would boost participation. For the study, researcher Joann Bodurtha of the department of Human Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University and colleagues examined efforts to recruit women in a breast cancer risk communication trial. Researchers recruited women who were waiting for health services at four VCU Health System women's health clinics from 2003 and 2005. Recruiters made 2,733 patients recruitment attempts, resulting in 884 patients who were able to complete a baseline survey about their breast cancer risk before leaving the clinic. Participants cited a lack of time, lack of interest or concerns about comprehension issues, such as hearing impairment or language skills, as reasons for declining to participate in the study. Researchers concluded, "Despite the potential barriers of research recruitment, a financially challenged population and the specific characteristics of any particular clinical setting, this work justifies further investigation of a waiting room model for clinical trial recruitment and risk communication" (Bodurtha et al., JNMA, August 2007).
- "Reducing Liver Cancer Disparities: A Community-Based Hepatitis-B Prevention Program for Asian-American Communities," JNMA: The study assesses knowledge of hepatitis B among Asian-Americans in nine Montgomery County, Md., communities, before and after a hepatitis B educational program. Chinese-, Filipino-, Korean- and Vietnamese-Americans have a higher risk of developing liver disease caused by complications from hepatitis B. The study, conducted by researcher Chiehwen Hsu of the University of Maryland Department of Public and Community Health and School of Public Policy and colleagues, involved 807 Asian-Americans who participated in a hepatitis B prevention program between 2005 and 2006. Participants attended culturally tailored lectures, received blood screenings for the disease and completed self-administered tests before and after the study that evaluated their knowledge of hepatitis B prevention. Participants' knowledge of hepatitis B prevention improved after receiving the information, researchers said. "The findings provide potential directions for focusing preventive interventions on at-risk Asian communities to reduce liver cancer disparities," according to the study (Hsu et el., JNMA, August 2007).