Training Needs of Clinical and Research Professionals to Optimize Minority Recruitment and Retention in Cancer Clinical Trials
The study of disparities in minority recruitment to cancer clinical trials has focused primarily on inquiries among minority patient populations. However, clinical trial recruitment is complex and requires a broader appreciation of the multiple factors that influence minority participation. One area that has received little attention is minority recruitment training for professionals who assume various roles in the clinical trial recruitment process. Therefore, we assessed the perspectives of cancer center clinical and research personnel on their training and education needs toward minority recruitment for cancer clinical trials. Ninety-one qualitative interviews were conducted at five U.S. cancer centers among four stakeholder groups: cancer center leaders, principal investigators, referring clinicians, and research staff. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Qualitative analyses focused on response data related to training for minority recruitment for cancer clinical trials. Four prominent themes were identified: (1) Research personnel are not currently being trained to focus on recruitment and retention of minority populations; (2) Training for minority recruitment and retention provides for a specific focus on factors influencing minority research participation; (3) Training on cultural awareness may help to bridge cultural gaps between potential minority participants and research professionals; (4) Views differ regarding the importance of research personnel training designed to focus on recruitment of minority populations. There is a lack of systematic training for minority recruitment. Many stakeholders acknowledged the benefits of minority recruitment training and welcomed training that focuses on increasing cultural awareness to increase the participation of minorities in cancer clinical trials.