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J Community Genet. 2017 Oct;8(4):283-291. doi: 10.1007/s12687-017-0313-9. Epub 2017 Jul 8.

Leveraging community-based participatory research capacity to recruit Pacific Islanders into a genetics study.

Author information

1
Office of Community Health and Research, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Northwest Campus, 1125 N. College Ave, Fayetteville, AR, 72701, USA. pamcelfish@uams.edu.
2
Office of Community Health and Research, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Northwest Campus, 1125 N. College Ave, Fayetteville, AR, 72701, USA.
3
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA.
4
Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, 72205, USA.
5
Department of Internal Medicine Division of Hematology/Oncology, UAMS College of Medicine, Northwest, 1125 N. College Avenue, Fayetteville, AR, USA.
6
Division of Medical Genetics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, 72205, USA.

Abstract

Pacific Islanders face many health disparities, including higher rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Specifically, the Marshallese population suffers disproportionately from type 2 diabetes, with rates 400% higher than the general US population. As part of an ongoing community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership, 148 participants were recruited for a study examining genetic variants to better understand diabetes. Participants provided a saliva specimen in an Oragene® DNA self-collection kit. Each participant provided approximately 2 mL volume of saliva and was asked qualitative questions about their experience. The study yielded a recruitment rate of 95.5%. Among the 148 persons who participated, 143 (96.6%) agreed to be contacted for future studies; 142 (95.9%) agreed to have their samples used for future IRB-approved studies; and 144 (97.3%) gave permission for the researchers to link information from this study to other studies in which they had participated. Qualitative responses showed that the majority of participants were willing to participate because of their desire to contribute to the health of their community and to understand the genetic influence related to diabetes. This study demonstrates willingness to participate in genetic research among Marshallese living in Arkansas. Willingness was likely enhanced because the feasibility study was part of a larger CBPR effort. This study is important to community stakeholders who have voiced a desire to collaboratively conduct genetic research related to diabetes, perinatal outcomes, and cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Community-based participatory research; Diabetes; Genetics; Pacific Islanders

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