Study: Blacks avoid clinical trials

It seems that many black U.S. residents are less likely to participate in clinical studies, possibly due to distrust of physicians and fears that they might be harmed by participation, according to a study published in the journal Medicine. To conduct the study, Johns Hopkins University professor of medicine and colleagues surveyed 717 people at 13 Maryland outpatient medical clinics in Maryland. Of that total, 460 were white and 257 were black. Survey participants were told that the survey was designed to study individuals' attitudes about medical research, physicians who conduct research and reasons for participating in clinical trials. Researchers concluded that blacks were only 60 percent as likely as whites to participate in a mock study of a heart disease drug, and 58 percent of blacks thought physicians would give them experimental drugs without consent, compared with 28 percent of whites. It can't be helping things much that whites, rather than minority physicians, are more likely to be running the trials. Looks like there's a serious issue here which deserves more attention.

To read more about this research:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece

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