Participation of African Americans in clinical research

Neuroepidemiology. 1997;16(6):281-4. doi: 10.1159/000109698.


Researchers throughout the United States have developed an increased interest in recruiting minority groups into studies. Such increased interests have been encouraged by the federal agencies that have mandated diversity in study populations. This editorial attempts to explore salient issues pertinent to the recruitment and retention of African Americans and cites culturally specific recruitment strategies that have been successfully applied by investigators. African Americans may have special concerns that may have to be addressed by the investigators prior to initiation of the study. Concerns may include the fear of being treated as a 'guinea pig' and the need for psychosocial programs. Such concerns require culturally sensitive strategies which may include trust-building and the provision of ancillary services. Although specific strategies are required to recruit and retain this special population in clinical studies, there are no guarantees that enrollment will be successful even with the inclusion of culturally sensitive mechanisms.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Research / statistics & numerical data
  • Research / trends*
  • United States