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adults, clinical research, education, participation, race, trust, underrepresented



  1. Scanlon, Jennifer K.
  2. Wofford, Linda
  3. Fair, Alecia
  4. Philippi, David


Background: Despite numerous efforts to create more equitable healthcare systems, minority populations face long-standing health disparities compared to White populations. Healthcare research is the necessary foundation for creating equitable health systems and providing patient-centered care. Significant challenges exist, however, with recruiting and engaging underrepresented populations in clinical research.


Objectives: The purpose of this analysis was to determine how research participants' race, trust, and level of education influence participation barriers in clinical research.


Methods: The study used secondary, cross-sectional survey data that were collected between 2014 and 2016 through the former Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network, currently known as the Stakeholders, Technology, and Research Clinical Research Network. Descriptive statistics and Spearman rank correlations were performed between level of education, level of trust, and each attitude statement for each racial category.


Results: A total of 2,190 survey responses were used in the data analysis. The mean age of respondents was 52 years, with majority being women, White, insured, and working full time. Overall, the respondents had favorable attitudes toward research participation. Trust was correlated with agreement in many attitude statements for both White and African American respondents, whereas correlations with education level were more variable depending on racial grouping. Trust level was negatively associated with agreement toward the statement "researchers do not care about me" in White and Native American respondents.


Discussion: The results support the importance of trust to research participation. Generally, education level was not strongly predictive of research participation, although prediction was influenced by race and attitude.