According to the NIH, the recruitment and retention of racial and ethnic minorities into clinical trials is a leading challenge confronting clinical researchers, and undoubtedly contributes to the persistence of health disparities. Our nation lacks scientific consensus about the methods and procedures needed to effectively and respectfully increase participation of minority populations in biomedical and public health research. Much of the published literature is focused on religious, spiritual, and cultural beliefs among minorities as the primary barriers to increased participation. Far less has been published on the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and cultural competence of researchers as potential barriers to increased participation of minorities in research.

Goals of the Building Trust initiative:

  • Increase the participation of African Americans, Hispanics and other minority populations in public health and biomedical research, including clinical trials.
  • Strengthen the capacity of investigators, institutional review board members and other research personnel to work effectively with minority communities.
  • Create a sustainable infrastructure of training and educational initiatives which can be evaluated over time to determine their impact on improving minority participation in research.

Specific Aims of the Building Trust initiative:

Specific Aim 1

Conduct an online survey to delineate the attitudes of researchers toward engagement with minority communities, barriers to recruitment and successful strategies.

Specific Aim 2

Conduct telephone interviews with a sample of researchers engaged with minority communities to determine best practices for recruitment and engagement.

Specific Aim 3

Identify the level of knowledge of research, research terminology, informed consent procedures, human subjects protections and trust through a telephone survey with a nationally representative sample of racial/ethnic minority adults.

Specific Aim 4

Develop and pilot test a comprehensive educational program for racial/ethnic minority community members on participation in research, including clinical trials.

Specific Aim 5

Conduct with the organization, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), ongoing educational sessions (webinars, pre-conference workshops) focused on enhancing capacity to ethically engage minorities in the research process and building skills for community based research.