Perceptions of pediatric clinical research among African American and Caucasian parents

J Natl Med Assoc. 2009 Sep;101(9):900-7. doi: 10.1016/s0027-9684(15)31037-3.


Difficulty in recruiting African American adults for clinical trials is well documented, but there is no consensus on African American children. Responses of a survey completed by 90 African American and Caucasian parents from December 2004 to April 2005 were analyzed to determine if racial disparities exist in research participation interest in an academic pediatric dermatology clinic. The majority of questions (32 of 38) were answered similarly by subjects of both races. However, when compared to African Americans, Caucasians were slightly more trusting (84% vs 65%) in regard to either total or moderate trust (p = .03). African Americans were 3 times as likely to feel that their child might be "treated like a guinea pig" if the child was a research subject (p = .03). Nearly a third more Caucasians than African Americans would be more inclined to enroll their healthy child in a research study if they had an established relationship with the health care provider informing them of the study (p = .0001). Caucasians had more exposure to research (p = .03). Nevertheless, there was no racial difference in the willingness to theoretically allow their child to participate in research studies. Accordingly, the possible lack of trust should not be used as the only reason racially representative recruitment goals are not accomplished.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomedical Research* / standards
  • Biomedical Research* / statistics & numerical data
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Informed Consent
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Social Perception
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • White People / psychology*