Recruitment and retention of African American patients for clinical research: an exploration of response rates in an urban psychiatric hospital

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996 Oct;64(5):861-7. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.64.5.861.


The issues related to recruiting African American psychiatric inpatients are discussed in the context of a study on the influence of ethnicity on psychiatric diagnosis. Ethnically diverse psychiatric residents interviewed 960 Black and White inpatients in 2 urban psychiatric hospitals. Despite the obstacles cited in the literature about recruiting and retaining African Americans into research, 78% of this sample were African American. In addition, interview completion and refusal rates did not differ by patient ethnicity. Results suggest that matching interviewer and patient ethnicity did not influence African Americans' likelihood of participating in or of refusing an interview. This article summarizes a number of guidelines that others may find useful in conducting clinical research with African Americans, ranging from the formation of academic-public liaisons to interviewer training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / psychology*
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Michigan
  • Mood Disorders / ethnology
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Mood Disorders / therapy
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Psychiatry / education
  • Schizophrenia / ethnology
  • Schizophrenia / therapy
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Treatment Refusal / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • White People / psychology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data