Women and minorities face barriers to clinical trials

Physicians have great influence over whether minorities and women participate in cancer clinical trials, according to a new literature review

Women and minorities experience disproportionately high rates of cancer in the United States, yet they are typically under-represented in clinical trials, according to the review in the latest issue of Ethnicity & Disease. Reversing this trend is an important goal of the National Cancer Institute, because study participation is associated with increased survival time and appears to provide both psychological and emotional benefits.

In the report, author Geri L. Schmotzer, Ph.D., of New Mexico State University’s School of Nursing reviewed 22 studies focusing on clinical trial participation and recruitment in under-represented groups including , ethnic and racial minorities, elderly and/or rural , and individuals of low socioeconomic status. She discovered that there are more barriers to participation, both related to the patients themselves and to their physicians, than facilitators. Read more