A significant percentage of minority group respondents and non-Hispanic whites say doctors and health care providers are a reliable source for clinical trial information, but only 27% of Hispanics, 25% of Asians, 24% of African-Americans, and even fewer non-Hispanic whites (15%), say their doctor or other health care professional has ever talked to them about medical research. Notably, the results indicate a higher percentage of minority groups say they are having discussions about medical research with health care providers than non-Hispanic whites. But all groups agree that health care professionals should discuss clinical trials with patients diagnosed with a disease as part of their standard of care – 89% of Hispanics, 88% of non-Hispanic whites, 86% of Asians and 79% of African-Americans.
“Medical products are safer and more effective for everyone when clinical trials include diverse populations,” said Karen Noonan, vice president of global regulatory policy of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO). “ACRO welcomes these valuable data from the Research!America survey, which reinforce Congress’ direction to the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate and address the inclusion of minority and other demographic subgroups in clinical trials.”
As seen in the overall population, a strong majority of minority group respondents say they would be willing to share personal health information so researchers can better understand diseases and develop new ways to prevent, treat and cure them, improve patient care, advance medical research and so public health officials can better track disease and disability and the causes. And most say they are likely to use technology to share personal health data – 75% of Hispanics, 70% of non-Hispanics whites, 69% of African-Americans and 68% of Asians. In addition, minority groups say they would prefer to have clinical trial information/data/results delivered through their phone – 58% of Hispanics, 53% of African-Americans and 50% of Asians, compared to 39% of non-Hispanic whites. About half of all groups say they have heard about clinical trials from the Internet.
Altruism has remained a significant motivating factor for clinical trial participation, especially among minority groups. More than half of African-Americans (61%) and Hispanics (56%) say the opportunity to improve the health of others is a very important reason to take part in a clinical trial, compared to 50% of non-Hispanic whites and 46% of Asians, similar to 2013 findings.
In addition, a majority say understanding risks and benefits, and the competence and reputation of the people or institution conducting the research, and having an expert guide them through the clinical trials process are very important factors in their decision to participate as a volunteer in a clinical trial.