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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Mar;23(3):392-401. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0744.

Impact of a biospecimen collection seminar on willingness to donate biospecimens among Chinese Americans: results from a randomized, controlled community-based trial.

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Authors' Affiliations: University of California, Davis, Sacramento; and Chinatown Public Health Center, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California.



Biospecimen collection from diverse populations can advance cancer disparities research, but is currently underrepresented.


We partnered with a community-based clinic serving Cantonese-speaking Chinese Americans to develop and revise an educational seminar on biospecimen collection. Through a randomized controlled trial (n = 395), the intervention seminar was compared with a control seminar (cancer prevention) on change in willingness to donate biospecimens.


At baseline, many were willing to donate a biospecimen (saliva, urine, hair, toenails, blood, unused cancerous tissue) whether healthy or hypothetically had cancer. Also, many would donate because future generations would benefit, and few had concerns about donation. In logistic regression analyses, there was an intervention effect for willingness to donate: urine if had cancer [OR, 2.2; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.3-3.7], toenails if healthy (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.4-3.2) or had cancer (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 2.0-2.7), hair if healthy (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3-2.5) or had cancer (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.9-4.0), and unused cancerous tissue (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2-2.9). There was also an intervention effect for donating because future generations would benefit (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.4-3.0), and this attitude was a strong independent predictor for willingness to donate all biospecimens, whether healthy or had cancer (OR, 2.9-4.2).


Cantonese-speaking Chinese American participants of an educational seminar on biospecimen collection showed greater increases in willingness to donate biospecimens and donating for the benefit of future generations, than participants who attended a control seminar.


Donating for the benefit of future generations is a theme that should be incorporated in messages that encourage biospecimen donation for Chinese Americans.

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