Barriers and Strategies to Participation in Tissue Research Among African-American Men

Bettina F. Drake, Danielle Boyd, Kimberly Carter, Sarah Gehlert, Vetta Sanders Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Before the burgeoning field of biospecimen collection can advance prevention and treatment methods, researchers must access diverse molecular data samples. However, minorities, especially African-American men, remain reticent to join these studies. This study, using theory-based approaches, investigated African-American men’s barriers to participating in biorepository research. Fourteen focus groups were conducted among 70 African-American men (ages 40 to 80). The groups were stratified by prostate cancer history and educational attainment background. Participants identified perceived factors that promoted or hindered study participation when questioned about their knowledge and attitudes about biospecimen research. Ninety-four percent of participants indicated never participating in a study that collected biological samples. Barriers to their participation included lack of knowledge and understanding regarding biospecimen research practices and uses. In addition, they extensively cited a prevalent mistrust of the medical community and discomfort with study recruitment practices. African-American males were more willing to participate in biorepository studies with physician endorsement or if they understood that participation could benefit future generations. Men also wanted more recruitment and advertising done in familiar places.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • African-American
  • Biorepository
  • Prostate cancer
  • Recruitment


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