Recruiting Black/African American men for research on prostate cancer prevention

Authors

  • V. Diane Woods M.S.N., R.N.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California
    • Project Manager, Evaluation Research Unit, Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, 10970 Parkland Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350
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    • Fax: (909) 558-0182

  • Susanne B. Montgomery Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.,

    1. Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California
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  • R. Patti Herring Ph.D., R.N.

    1. Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California
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  • The opinions expressed herein are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control or the Association of Schools of Public Health.

  • The terms “Blacks” and “African American” have been used interchangeably because many individuals still refer to themselves in this manner.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Black/African American men die of prostate cancer at a greater rate relative to other males. During the period from 1992 to 1998, prostate cancer incidence rates in the United States were 234.2 per 100,000 persons among non-Hispanic black males and 144.6 per 100,000 persons among white males. The reasons for these increased rates of prostate cancer among black males are largely unknown, but increased mortality is associated with late detection. The authors conducted a longitudinal study of black men that investigated prostate cancer prevention behaviors within this population. The purpose of the current article is to identify successful recruitment strategies that were reported by participants in this study of prevention behaviors.

METHODS

Qualitative research methods were used to elucidate men's thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and practices regarding prostate cancer prevention behaviors and to identify strategies for attracting black men to research programs and retaining them in these programs.

RESULTS

Ethnocentric recruitment strategies that were identified included the development of tailored printed materials; the use of targeted locations; and a personalized, participatory approach for engaging potential participants. We contacted 498 black men and enrolled a cohort of 277 non-Hispanic black males (75% of whom were recruited within a 9-week period) in the current study.

CONCLUSIONS

Unlike other studies that reported difficulty in recruiting African American men, the current study did not encounter such difficulties. The authors attribute their success to culturally attractive Afrocentric materials; cultural sensitivity; a caring, professional, personalized ethnic approach; respect; and participatory involvement of the target population. Nonetheless, the authors did encounter barriers, such as lack of physician interest and lack of trust in quality medical care. These barriers must be overcome before black males can be engaged and retained in research studies on prostate cancer prevention. Cancer 2004;100:1017–25. © 2004 American Cancer Society.

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