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Participation of Asian-American women in cancer treatment research: a pilot study.

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Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Box 0320, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Few Asian-American women participate in cancer treatment trials. In a pilot study to assess barriers to participation, we mailed surveys to 132 oncologists and interviewed 19 Asian-American women with cancer from Northern California. Forty-four oncologists responded. They reported as barriers language problems, lack of culturally relevant cancer information, and complex protocols. Most stated that they informed Asian-American women about treatment trials. Only four women interviewed knew about trials. Other patient-identified barriers were fear of side effects, language problems, competing needs, and fear of experimentation. Family decision making was a barrier for both oncologists and patients. Compared to non-Asian oncologists, more Asian oncologists have referred Asian-American women to industry trials and identified barriers similar to patients' reports. Our findings indicate that Asian-American women need to be informed about cancer treatment trials, linguistic barriers should be addressed, and future research should evaluate cultural barriers such as family decision making.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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