A pilot survey of African-American physician perceptions about clinical trials

Gwendolyn F. Lynch*, Philip B. Gorelick, Rema Raman, Sue Leurgans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


African Americans have been underrepresented in clinical trials. However, African-American physician attitudes about clinical trials may influence patient recruitment. We identified the perceptions of African-American physician members of the Cook County Physicians Association (CCPA) about clinical trials in the Chicago Metropolitan area using a self-administered questionnaire. An 18-item, 2-page survey that included information about physician demographics, practice type, and specialty, and perceptions regarding clinical research was sent to each of the 609 active or inactive members of the CCPA, a predominantly African-American physician organization. Each survey was accompanied by a letter of explanation and a self-addressed, return envelope. Data from the surveys were stored and analyzed in a database. A total of 166 members (27%) completed the survey. Fifty percent of the respondents were men and 50% were women. The mean age of the group was 45 years, and almost half had participated previously as a local investigator, or assisted on a clinical or laboratory study. Factors identified by the members as possibly being disadvantages to participation in a clinical trial, or factors influencing African-American recruitment included: (a) lack of patient awareness of clinical trials (93%); (b) patient mistrust of the medical community (92%); (c) additional administrative tasks in conjunction with a patient enrolled in a study (56%); (d) blind drug assignment (41.6%). African-American physicians perceive inherent disadvantages from participation in clinical trials and have pinpointed factors that may influence patient recruitment. These factors may be addressed by focused physician and community education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8S-13S
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number12 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Dec 2001


  • Clinical trials
  • Ethnicity
  • Patient recruitment
  • Physician involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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