Jan McCallum, BS1, Dhananjaya Arekere, PhD2, Lee Green, PhD2, Ralph Katz, DMD, MPH, PhD3, and Brian Rivers, PhD2. (1) Texas A&M Univeristy, Center for the Study of Health Disparities, 4222 TAMU, 112 Harrington Tower, College Station, TX 77843, 979-845-3502, firstname.lastname@example.org, (2) Center for the Study of Health Disparities, Texas A&M Univeristy, 4222 TAMU, 112 Harrington Tower, College Station, TX 77845, (3) Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, NYU College of Dentistry, MC-9416, 345 E. 24th St., New York, NY 10010
Objectives: The purpose of this review was to collate and interpret the findings of all published qualitative or quantitative research studies that assessed 1) general awareness and/or specific knowledge of the US Public Health Service (USPHS) Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, and 2) attitudes towards and/or willingness to participate in biomedical research.
Methods: To identify eligible articles, the authors searched Cambridge Scientific Abstracts Database using the keywords: “Tuskegee Syphilis Study” or “Tuskegee”, “Minority” and “Willingness to participate”, and “US Public Health Service Syphilis Study”. The authors also searched Google Scholar and the bibliographies of retrieved articles to identify additional studies. An exhaustive review of the literature yielded nine articles that fit the specified inclusion criteria. Four studies utilized a focus group design, while five studies used a cross-sectional survey design.
Results: All articles that assessed both awareness and knowledge found that familiarity with the USPHS Syphilis Study at Tuskegee did not necessarily correlate with accurate knowledge of the study's events. Several, but not all, studies also found that awareness of the USPHS Syphilis Study at Tuskegee was not related to willingness to participate in biomedical research.
Conclusion: Minorities' mistrust and unwillingness to participate in biomedical research may be influenced by multiple factors including, but not limited to, awareness and knowledge of the USPHS Syphilis Study at Tuskegee. Published studies indicate a broad array of sociocultural factors influence minorities' willingness to participate in biomedical research. Future research should explicate the interactive impact of all these factors on participation rates.
Keywords: Minority Health, Research Ethics
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA