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Study looks at factors influencing African-American women's decisions to join cancer screening trial

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 1 Do African-American women who join a screening trial for cancer differ from those who do not join? Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health sought to answer this question by surveying African-American women who were invited to join the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, a randomized, community-based longitudinal study evaluating the effectiveness of cancer screening tests on site-specific mortality.

Their results, published in today's issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, indicate that African-American women who decided to join PLCO held significantly different beliefs regarding the benefits and risks of participation than those who did not join the majority of those who joined were much more likely to report that African-Americans benefit as much as whites from participating in clinical trials. Interestingly, the study also found that none of the women surveyed had reported learning about clinical trials from their doctors or other health care providers.

"By interviewing women who joined the PLCO as well as those who did not, we were able to analyze their responses and suggest a strategy for improving the recruitment of African-American women to cancer clinical trials," said Jeanette Trauth, Ph.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of behavioral and community health sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

The researchers interviewed 299 African-American women between the ages of 55 and 74 who were eligible for the PLCO; 230 of these women decided not to participate in PLCO (non-joiners) and 69 of these women decided to participate in PLCO (joiners). The investigators found that joiners had a better understanding of cancer and the role of early detection and screening, and appeared to be motivated to join a trial by the experience of having a loved one with cancer. Joiners also tended to seek out info
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1-Dec-2005


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