Racial and ethnic disparities in knowledge, attitudes, and invitation to participate in clinical trials among cancer survivors in the United States: An analysis of the 2020 U.S. HINTS

Prev Med Rep. 2023 Dec 19:37:102564. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2023.102564. eCollection 2024 Jan.


Background: Despite the use of clinical trials to provide gold-standard evidence of cancer treatment and intervention effectiveness, racial/ethnic minorities are frequently underrepresented participants. Our objective was to evaluate racial/ethnic differences in knowledge and attitudes towards clinical trials among U.S. cancer survivors.

Methods: We leveraged the 2020 Health Informational National Trends Survey (HINTS) data (February-June 2020), which is a weighted, nationally representative survey of 3865 adults (≥18 years), including cancer survivors. We descriptively evaluated cancer survivor's (n = 553) knowledge of clinical trials, and trusted sources of information regarding clinical trials. Using Poisson regression, we estimated predictors of self-reported knowledge of clinical trials.

Results: Among cancer survivors, 82 % were NH-White and 60 % self-reported to at least have some knowledge about clinical trials. When asked about factors that would influence their decision to participate in clinical trials, participants across racial groups frequently chose "I would want to get better" and "If the standard care was not covered by my insurance." NH-White (76 %), NH-Black (78 %), and Hispanic/Latinx (77 %) cancer survivors reported their trusted source of information about clinical trials was their health care provider; NH-Asian cancer survivors reported their health care provider (51 %) as well as government health agencies (30 %) as trusted sources. Cancer survivors with only a high school degree were less likely to have any knowledge of clinical trials compared to those with a Baccalaureate degree or more (aPR:0.61;95 % CI:0.45-0.83).

Conclusion: Health care providers are a trusted source of clinical trial information.

Keywords: Attitudes; Cancer survivors; Clinical trials; Disparities; Diversity; Inequities; Knowledge; Motivation; Oncologists.