Apoyo con Cariño: Strategies to Promote Recruiting, Enrolling, and Retaining Latinos in a Cancer Clinical Trial

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Background: We present and describe tailored strategies to address known barriers to minority participation in clinical trial research. The strategies used allowed our team to engage communities and successfully recruit, enroll, and retain a diverse underserved population of Latinos with advanced cancer for this clinical trial. Methods: Participants were recruited from 3 urban and 7 rural sites. We identified 4 critical barriers to recruitment for this underserved population: (1) mistrust; (2) language and communication barriers; (3) lack of access to academic cancer center; and (4) inability to participate due to transportation, childcare, or work responsibilities. We developed tailored strategies to engage referring sites and patients to participate in the clinical trial. Results: We identified 318 potentially eligible participants; 34 were found to be ineligible, and 223 consented to participate in the study, representing a 79.0% enrollment rate. All patients (100%) self-identified as Latino, and 47.5% spoke Spanish as their primary language. Patients were socioeconomically disadvantaged: 53.6% had an annual income <$15,000 USD, and 50.2% had less than a high school education. A total of 177 participants completed the 3-month follow-up; 26 died before the 3-month follow interview, and 20 did not complete the follow-up evaluation (9% withdrawal rate). Conclusions: Our community-informed strategies were highly effective for recruiting, enrolling, and retaining an underserved diverse population of Latinos. The barriers we identified and the strategies we used have the potential to inform research to increase minority participation in cancer clinical trials. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01695382

Author contributions: Study concept and design: Fischer, Kline, Min, Okuyama, Fink. Data acquisition: Fischer, Kline, Okuyama, Fink. Data analysis and interpretation: Fischer, Kline, Min, Okuyama, Fink. Manuscript preparation: Fischer, Kline, Min, Okuyama, Fink. Critical revision: Fischer, Kline, Min, Okuyama, Fink.

Correspondence: Stacy M. Fischer, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 12631 East 17th Avenue, General Internal Medicine, 8th Floor, Aurora, CO 80045. E-mail: stacy.fischer@ucdenver.edu
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