Minorities make up roughly one-third of the U.S. population and are expected to become the majority by 2042, with the nation projected to be 54 percent minority in 2050 (US Census, 2008). These demographic shifts will require researchers to be more cognizant of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices, and cultural and linguistic needs of racial and ethnic populations. Without adequate representation of these populations in clinical trials, researchers cannot learn about potential differences among groups and cannot ensure the generalization/external validity of results. When developed and implemented as a framework, cultural competence enables systems, agencies, and researchers to effectively engage and recruit diverse communities to clinical trials.
This module is focused on understanding the importance of metric driven recruitment, the definition of catchment center areas, understanding current minority enrollment data, and identifying gaps between actual and target enrollment.
Despite the establishment of an NIH mandate for racial and ethnic minority recruitment almost 2 decades ago, few examples of rigorously tested models of minority recruitment in cancer clinical trials are described in medical literature. Our overall objective is to identify and describe models and programs proven to be effective in the enrollment of racial and ethnic minorities into cancer clinical trials.