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Am J Prev Med. 2018 Nov;55(5 Suppl 1):S103-S111. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.05.028.

Attitudes Toward Genomic Testing and Prostate Cancer Research Among Black Men.

Author information

Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah. Electronic address:
Department of Health Professions, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Minnesota State Legislature, Office of the Legislative Auditor, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Health and Wellness Committee, 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Oakland, California.
Department of Urology, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, California.
Department of Urology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.
Department of Urology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.



Black men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at nearly twice the rate of white men and are underrepresented in prostate cancer research, including validation studies of new clinical tools (e.g., genomic testing). Because healthcare system mistrust has contributed to these disparities for centuries, black men may be less inclined to pursue novel testing, and identification of facilitators to their participation in prostate cancer research studies remains warranted.


A community-engaged approach involving a partnership with a community organization was used to conduct seven focus groups in Minnesota, Alabama, and California to explore black men's attitudes toward prostate cancer research participation and genomic testing for prostate cancer. Data were collected and analyzed from April 2015 to April 2017.


Identified genomic testing barriers included a lack of terminology understanding, healthcare system mistrust, reluctance to seek medical care, and unfavorable attitudes toward research. Facilitators included family history, value of prevention, and the desire for health education. Lack of prostate cancer knowledge, prostate-specific antigen testing confusion, healthcare system distrust, and misuse of personal health information were barriers to research study participation. Some black men were motivated to participate in research if it was seen as constructive and transparent.


Disparities for black men can both motivate and disincentivize participation depending upon a positive or negative view of research. Confusion over prostate cancer clinical care has fueled some mistrust among black men affecting both clinical care and research participation. With increased education, health literacy, and assurances of research integrity and transparency, black men may be more willing to participate in prostate cancer testing and research.


This article is part of a supplement entitled African American Men's Health: Research, Practice, and Policy Implications, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

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