Linking Education to Action: A Program to Increase Research Participation among African American Women

Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, Karen Patricia Williams, Jennifer L. Ridgeway, Monica W. Parker, Alice Strong-Simmons, Sharonne Hayes, Michele Y Halyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Underrepresentation of African American women as research participants contributes to health disparities. Contemporary studies have focused on clinical trial (CT) participation; epidemiologic and genetic studies utilizing medical records and/or biological samples have received less attention. In partnership with The Links, Incorporated (The Links), a national service organization of professional African American women, this study sought to examine attitudes regarding chart review (CR) studies, genetic studies/biobanking (GEN), and CTs; develop; and evaluate an online education-to-action program. Methods: In phase 1, focus groups were convened with members of The Links to inform the content and format of the program. Phases 2 and 3 involved designing and evaluating the program, respectively. Results: Thirty-four women across three focus groups shared attitudes and perceptions regarding research and provided guidance for program development. Subsequently, 244 women completed the program (77% response rate), including pre- and post-assessments. Participants indicating that they "definitely" or "probably" (responses combined) intend to participate in research increased from 36.5% to 69.3% (pre/post-program). Agreement with the statement "research in the U.S. is ethical" increased (52.9% to 74.4%) as did factual knowledge regarding each of the study types. There was a decrease in reporting "little or no understanding" of study types (Pre/Post: GEN: 66%/24.9%, CR: 62.9%/18.4%, CTs: 40.7%/15.5%). Pre-program, few were "very positive" about the study types (14.3% GEN, 15.0% CR, 28.6% CTs); post-program ratings increased and equalized (42.8% GEN, 43.0% CR, 42.5% CTs). Conclusions: An online education-to-action program targeting professional African American women improved knowledge, perceptions of ethics, and intent to participate in biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1242-1249
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • African Americans
  • clinical trials
  • ethics
  • genetic research
  • research participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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