Community readiness to promote Latinas’ participation in breast cancer prevention clinical trials


  • Requests for reprints: Evelinn A. Borrayo PhD, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA. E-mail:

Catalina Lawsin Department of Oncological Sciences Mount Sinai School of Medicine 1425 Madison Avenue Box 1130 New York NY 10029 USA


The high breast cancer (BC) mortality rates that exist among Hispanic women (Latinas) are a health disparity burden that needs to be addressed. Prevention clinical trials are a burgeoning area of cancer prevention efforts and may serve to promote parity. Unfortunately, Latinas, along with other ethnic minority women, continue to be under-represented in this form of research. Previous studies have examined individual barriers to ethnic minorities’ participation, but none have assessed community factors contributing to Latinas’ under-representation in these studies. The present study addressed these limitations from a community perspective by exploring which factors might inhibit Latinas’ participation in clinical trials, specifically BC prevention trials. Using the Community Readiness Model (CRM), 19 key informants were interviewed in four communities, two rural and two urban, in Colorado, USA. The key informant assessment involved a semistructured interview that measured the level of community readiness to encourage participation in BC prevention activities. The results reflected a community climate that did not recognise BC as a health problem that affected Latinas in participating communities. Compared to other healthcare priorities, participation in BC prevention clinical trials was considered a low priority in these communities. Overall, leadership and community resources were not identified or allocated to encourage the participation of Latinas. The results highlight the lack of awareness regarding clinical trials among both community members and leaders. According to the CRM, strategies to enhance awareness at multiple levels in the community are necessary. This study demonstrates how the CRM can be used to better understand a community's perspective on BC, and specifically, the under-representation of Latinas in clinical trials.