Are ethnic and racial minority women less likely to participate in clinical trials?

Shweta N. Patel, Jeanine N. Staples, Christine Garcia, Lindsay Chatfield, J. Stuart Ferriss, Linda Duska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Given the disparity that exists in enrollment of minorities to oncology clinical trials, the objective of our study was to assess whether race is associated with willingness to participate in gynecologic oncology clinical trials in a rural Southern academic medicine setting. Our secondary aim was to determine whether willingness to participate is impacted by an educational intervention. METHODS: A single institution prospective survey study was performed at an academic medical center. Women presenting to the gynecologic oncology clinic with a current or prior diagnosis of gynecologic malignancy were approached to participate. The validated Attitudes to Randomized Trials Questionnaire (ARTQ) assessed willingness to participate in clinical trials. Relevant demographic and clinical data were abstracted. Characteristics were compared between those willing and unwilling to participate in clinical trials with a chi-square test for categorical variables and Wilcoxon rank sum tests for continuous data. RESULTS: We enrolled 156 participants (50% White, 50% non-White) from May 2017 to January 2018. The minority group included 35% non-Hispanic Black, 9% Hispanic, 4% Asian, and 2% other. Median age was 63 years with endometrial cancer being the most common diagnosis (48%). On initial screen, only 35% were willing to participate in a clinical trial. Willingness to participate did not differ between race, age, marital status, education level, cancer type, stage, or mode of treatment. Rates improved to 82% after being provided additional educational information. Following education, White women and those with more education were significantly more willing to participate in clinical trials than their minority and less educated counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: Willingness to participate improved among all sub-categories following an educational intervention. The increase in willingness was less robust among racial and ethnic minorities, suggesting that different tools are needed for recruitment of minorities to gynecologic oncology clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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