Research Mentor Name

Lydell Lettsome

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Clinical Diversity Solutions

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Background: The underrepresentation of high-risk minority groups in clinical trials remains a crisis in American healthcare. Despite pressures from the NIH to increase Black-American participation in trials, recruitment and retention in this group rarely match population demographics. Our company launched an opinion survey polling 260 Blacks regarding their thoughts and awareness about clinical trial participation.

Methods: We created a web-based survey consisting of 38 items and subdivided it into three main sections: (1) cultural affinity, (2) trust, and (3) background information. The survey was conducted using Jotform, a HIPAAcompliant web-based application. Our target population was Black Americans in central Alabama. Response options included numerical, categorical, and ordinal. Respondent demographics polled were age, employment status, health insurance coverage, income, and education level.

Results: 63% of respondents cited recommendations from their PCP as a critical trust indicator, with 67% being willing to go to another physician for a study as long as their PCP recommended it. 44% valued explanations and recruitment by persons of shared ethnicity. Consistently >50% of respondents wanted clear and straightforward explanations before participating in research. 65.4% wanted IRBs that included African Americans.

Conclusion: Black Americans are open to clinical research. However, certain trust and safety measures should be in place. A history of abuse, dishonesty, and lack of black leadership still haunts people of color’s ability to trust medical research as safe spaces. Plain language explanations, people of color in decision-making roles, and active PCP engagement are vital steps toward increased research participation.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences