Successful strategies for increasing African American participation in cancer genetic studies: Hopeful signs for equalizing the benefits of genetic medicine

Annette R. Patterson, Helen Davis, Kristin Shelby, Jerry McCoy, Linda D. Robinson, Smita K. Rao, Pia Banerji, Gail E. Tomlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether prior success in recruiting African Americans to an in-house cancer genetics registry could be duplicated when recruiting to a national registry requiring a significantly increased level of commitment. Additionally, to determine which recruitment sources and practices yielded the highest number of African American participants. Methods: A retrospective analysis of recruitment sources, practices, and results for recruitment to the Cancer Genetics Network (CGN; a national research registry), from 2000 to 2005 was conducted. These results were compared to previous experience in recruiting African Americans to the Family Cancer Registry (FCR; an in-house registry) during the period 1992-2005. Results: In the 1st year of recruitment to the CGN, African Americans accounted for 24% of those consenting to participate in the CGN registry from our center. This compares to an average annual rate of 27% for the FCR during the years 1998-2005, and a rate of less than 1% from 1992 to 1998. By 2005, African Americans accounted for 27% of CGN participants recruited through the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, one of eighteen participating institutions in the CGN. Hospital-based resources such as cancer treatment clinics and tumor registries yielded the highest percentage of African American participants (66.5%), and self-referral yielded the lowest (0%). Seventy-seven percent of African Americans were actively sought out and recruited from treatment clinics, whereas the vast majority of Caucasian participants were recruited passively during the course of genetic counseling sessions that were scheduled for reasons unrelated to participation in cancer research. There were no known instances of African Americans contacting CGN staff after reading printed recruitment materials or internet advertisements. Conclusions: The increased level of commitment required of CGN participants did not deter African Americans from participating in cancer genetics research. Recruitment strategies responsible for dramatically increasing recruitment rates to the FCR from 1998 to 2000 were equally effective when used for recruitment to the CGN. The most effective recruitment sources were high-yield venues such as cancer treatment clinics and tumor registries, and active recruitment methods yielded the highest number of African American participants. Advertising through internet announcements and printed recruitment materials did not appear to be effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Genetics
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Keywords

  • African American
  • Cancer genetic studies
  • Hereditary breast cancer
  • Minority recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)

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    Patterson, A. R., Davis, H., Shelby, K., McCoy, J., Robinson, L. D., Rao, S. K., Banerji, P., & Tomlinson, G. E. (2008). Successful strategies for increasing African American participation in cancer genetic studies: Hopeful signs for equalizing the benefits of genetic medicine. Community Genetics, 11(4), 208-214. https://doi.org/10.1159/000116881