Spirituality and Willingness to Participate in Health-Related Research Among African Americans

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2018;29(1):400-414. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2018.0027.


African Americans remain underrepresented in health-related research. We examined the association between spirituality using the Self-Rating Spirituality Scale (range 6-24) and self-reported willingness to participate in health-related research studies among African Americans. Covariates included gender, education level, employment status, and previous research experience. Adjusted associations were calculated with logistic regression models, with multiple imputation to account for missing data. Results from the logistic regression model show that each one-point increase in the Self-Rating Spirituality Scale was associated with a 24% increase in the odds of being very likely to participate in research (OR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.07-1.44). Those with less than a college degree (OR: 3.59, 95% CI: 1.51-8.54), who were unemployed (OR: 2.34, 95% CI: 1.03-5.33), and had previous research experience (OR: 2.92, 95% CI: 1.22-6.99) reported increased willingness to participate. This work offers new insight for developing recruitment initiatives within African American spiritual communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data
  • Spirituality*
  • Young Adult