Sunday, February 04, 2007

Conflicting Attitudes Hinder Women's Help in Clinical Trials

(HealthDay News) -- Conflicting attitudes may limit the participation of some groups of women in clinical trials, suggests a Wake Forest University School of Medicine study.

Researchers discussed clinical trials with 72 women (52 black women from different income levels and 20 low-income white women) and found that the women expressed uncertainties about trusting study investigators and fears about the trial itself, along with hopes that the research would help medical progress.

"The results of our study demonstrate the willingness of at least some African-American and low socioeconomic status white women to participate in research if it will benefit them or their families, advance scientific knowledge and help others in the future," the study authors wrote.

"But they must trust the researchers to be ethical and upfront with them about what is required, fully disclose what will happen to the health information they provide, and put their best interests first."

The researchers found that the women's fears were based on "not wanting to be a guinea pig or doing something that no one has done before."

The study is published in the February issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

In order to alleviate the kinds of fears and concerns about clinical trials expressed by the women, the researchers suggested that academic medical centers boost their involvement with minority or low socioeconomic communities in order to make those people partners in research designed to help address their health problems and concerns.

More information
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about clinical trials.

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