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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Dec 1;23(34):8730-8.

Factors affecting older african american women's decisions to join the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial.

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Graduate School of Public Health, 217 Parran Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.



The purpose of this study is to describe the factors associated with the decisions of older African American women to join the PLCO (Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian) Cancer Screening Trial when recruited.


African American women between ages 55 and 74 years who were never diagnosed with a PLCO cancer were eligible for our study. Two methods of recruitment were used. First, mailings were sent to a random sample of women describing the PLCO followed by a telephone call to determine interest in the PLCO. If women were not interested in PLCO but consented to participate in our study, they were interviewed immediately. Second, we followed up with African American women who responded to mass mailings sent out before the start of our study by the Pittsburgh PLCO office. Women completed an interview about their cancer and clinical trial knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. The responses of women who joined the PLCO Trial are contrasted with the responses of women who did not join.


Numerous factors were associated with the decision of older African American women to join the PLCO, including perceptions of cancer prevention and detection, the experience of having a loved one with cancer, knowledge of and experience with clinical trials, and beliefs regarding the benefits and risks of clinical trial participation.


Minority recruitment to cancer clinical trials could be increased by designing interventions focused on individual, organizational, and community needs.

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