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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Challenges in recruiting African-American men to evaluate a prostate health education intervention

Joann T. Richardson, PhD, Department of Exercise Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 842020, 1015 W. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23284-2020, 804-827-9345, jtrichar@vcu.edu, Gwendolyn G. Parker, MS, FNP-C, Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, 401 College Street, P.O. Box 980037, Richmond, VA 23298-0037, Michael A. Pyles, PhD, Department of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980533, Richmond, VA 23298, and Unyime O. Nseyo, MD, Division of Urology, University of Florida Medical School, 1600 S.W. Archer Road, P.O. Box 100247, Gainesville, VA 32610-0247.

Successful recruitment of African-American men into research studies is imperative in developing effective interventions to improve their health. Recruitment, however, is fraught with challenges. As a case-in-point, African-American men experience the highest prostate cancer incidence and mortality in the world. A key factor associated with this disparity is lack of prostate health knowledge. Consequently, interventions are needed to deliver prostate health education to this target population. To determine effective, efficient and desirable options for prostate health education, a very low risk, non-invasive study was initiated to evaluate their receptivity to e-health education. However, recruiting for the study proved to be an unexpectedly challenging task. The study aimed to enroll eighty African-American men, age 45 years and older, with no prior history of prostate cancer and living in metropolitan Richmond, Virginia. Thirty participants would participate in focus groups and fifty would be personally interviewed. Distribution of recruitment flyers and letters in community venues (e.g., barber shops and churches) resulted in a low response rate of <10% of the sample size goal over a six month period. Enlisting community “gatekeepers” to solicit participation from men in the community, contact with pastors to solicit participation by their congregants, and participation in health fairs also proved to be unsuccessful methods for reaching the target population. The most effective strategies were: (a) a single step approach whereby an African-American interviewer frequented community sites to recruit, verify eligibility and query the participants in one contact, thereby “seizing the moment” and (b) a two-step approach where men indicated their willingness to participate and were queried during an already scheduled gathering (e.g., meeting). Implementation of these strategies resulted in enrollment of the required sample size within a subsequent four month period. Factors that influence participation of African-American men in studies are complex, running the gamut from fears based on publicity about unethical treatment in previous studies to stoicism to logistics. This study's findings suggest that the most successful recruitment strategies are contingent on environment/setting, convenience and recruiter characteristics. Barriers that impede participation must continue to be identified and addressed in order to impact health disparities.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: African American, Minority Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Protecting the Right to Health for African American Men

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA