Learning and Action in Community Health: Using the Health Belief Model to Assess and Educate African American Community Residents about Participation in Clinical Research

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Aug 28;15(9):1862. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091862.


The Learning and Action in Community Health project was implemented to gather preliminary data needed to inform community-engaged educational approaches to increase clinical research participation among racial minorities. The Health Belief Model was the theoretical framework utilized to develop the intervention and assessment tools. An educational session about clinical research and biorepository participation was designed using clinicaltrials.gov information and administered to adult, African American community residents (n = 60) in Atlanta, Georgia. Pre- and post-tests were collected and analyzed to assess changes in participants' knowledge, perceptions, and willingness to participate in clinical studies and biorepositories. There were statistically significant changes in knowledge about joining a clinical study (p < 0.001) and registry or biorepository (p < 0.001). There was no statistically significant change in willingness to participate in clinical research or biorepositories after the educational session. Focus groups were conducted to gather feedback on the educational session and perceived barriers and benefits to participating in clinical research. Perceived benefits were improving health, receiving incentives, early detection of health issues, and access to care. Perceived barriers included fear, lack of knowledge, historical mistrust of research, and time constraints. Results have implications for subsequent community-engaged approaches to increasing minority participation in clinical research.

Keywords: African Americans; biorepository; clinical research; community engagement; health belief model; minority participation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Georgia
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups
  • Motivation
  • Perception
  • Physicians
  • Public Health
  • Research Subjects*
  • Volunteers*