Medical College of Wisconsin
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Barriers to and Facilitators of Recruitment of Adult African American Men for Colorectal Cancer Research: An Instrumental Exploratory Case Study. JCO Oncol Pract 2021 May;17(5):e686-e694



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85105769703   3 Citations


PURPOSE: Racial and ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in research and clinical trials. Better understanding of the components of effective minority recruitment into research studies is critical to understanding and reducing health disparities. Research on recruitment strategies for cancer-specific research-including colorectal cancer (CRC)-among African American men is particularly limited. We present an instrumental exploratory case study examining successful and unsuccessful strategies for recruiting African American men into focus groups centered on identifying barriers to and facilitators of CRC screening completion.

METHODS: The parent qualitative study was designed to explore the social determinants of CRC screening uptake among African American men 45-75 years of age. Recruitment procedures made use of community-based participatory research strategies combined with built community relationships, including the use of trusted community members, culturally tailored marketing materials, and incentives.

RESULTS: Community involvement and culturally tailored marketing materials facilitated recruitment. Barriers to recruitment included limited access to public spaces, transportation difficulties, and medical mistrust leading to reluctance to participate.

CONCLUSION: The use of strategies such as prioritizing community relationship building, partnering with community leaders and gatekeepers, and using culturally tailored marketing materials can successfully overcome barriers to the recruitment of African American men into medical research studies. To improve participation and recruitment rates among racial and ethnic minorities in cancer-focused research studies, future researchers and clinical trial investigators should aim to broaden recruitment, strengthen community ties, offer incentives, and use multifaceted approaches to address specific deterrents such as medical mistrust and economic barriers.

Author List

Rogers CR, Matthews P, Brooks E, Le Duc N, Washington C, McKoy A, Edmonson A, Lange L, Fetters MD


Charles R. Rogers PhD Center Associate Director, Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

African Americans
Colorectal Neoplasms
Middle Aged
Minority Groups
Pilot Projects