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J Immigr Minor Health. 2011 Oct;13(5):891-8. doi: 10.1007/s10903-010-9432-7.

Training community health workers about cancer clinical trials.

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Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02214, USA.


Innovative projects to reduce disparities in cancer treatment and research include partnerships between academic and community cancer centers, patient navigation programs and strategies to promote community awareness, education and engagement. A 4 h training program about cancer clinical trials was developed through a needs assessment and in collaboration with community health workers who served as consultants and a larger advisory board comprised of community health workers, educators and clinical trialists. This program was delivered first as a collaboration between a phsycian who is experienced in the conduct of clinical research and two community health workers, and subsequently by the community health workers alone. We report on four workshops attended by a total of 61 community health workers recruited from Boston-area hospitals, community health centers and outreach programs. Support for and knowledge of clinical trials was measured in a pretest and post-test, which also included a satisfaction rating. Participants had a range of prior experience with clinical trials in the context of their personal and professional experience. Mean accuracy of knowledge about clinical trials increased from 72 to 84%, support for clinical trials improved considerably, and satisfaction with the training experience was high. Knowledge gaps and low levels of support for cancer clinical trials among community health workers can be improved with a short training program delivered by other community health workers. Further research is needed to identify the impact of this training on accrual to cancer clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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