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Public Health Genomics. 2014;17(3):173-82. doi: 10.1159/000360472. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Intentions to donate to a biobank in a national sample of African Americans.

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Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, N.Y., USA.



Despite the investments being made to develop biobanks, African Americans are under-represented in genomic studies. We identified factors having significant independent associations with intentions to donate personal health information and blood and/or tissue samples to a biobank in a national random sample of African Americans (n = 1,033).


We conducted a national survey from October 2010 through February 2011.


Twenty-three percent of respondents reported that it was not at all likely that they would donate to a biobank, 18% reported it was a little likely, 36% reported it was somewhat likely, and 23% reported it was very likely. Respondents who were likely to donate to a biobank had greater positive expectations about participating in cancer genetics research and reported more participation facilitators relative to barriers. Respondents who were distrustful of researchers had a significantly lower likelihood of being willing to donate to a biobank compared to those who were less distrustful.


African Americans have diverse attitudes about participating in genetics research, and many are likely to donate to a biobank based on expectations of positive outcomes. It may be important to address attitudes about genetics research as part of recruitment to enhance the quality of informed consent for participation in biobanks among African Americans.

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