Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Geraldine H. Holmes


Previous abusive clinical trials have caused several obstacles in recruiting African Americans for clinical trials today. The memory of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study alone remains a hard pill to swallow and is a constant hindrance to recruiting potential African Americans specifically males, for clinical trials. The basic trust that African Americans have for physician researchers, U.S. government doctors, U.S. government-sponsored research, and biomedical research in general has been seriously, although not irrevocably, breached. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs African Americans have that support decisions to either participate or not participate in a clinical trial. Specific areas that were examined by perceptual and demographic measures included: knowledge of clinical research processes, perceptions of clinical research purposes and procedures, advantages and disadvantages for the individual of participation in clinical research trials, characteristics of current and past participation in clinical research trials, exposure to selected experiences which are preliminary to participation in clinical research trials, perceptions regarding the need for selected changes in preparation for participation in clinical research trials; and selected personal demographic characteristics: gender, age, marital status, education level, employment status, household income, distance from research center, and overall health status. The survey method was utilized in this study. The discriminant analysis model was used to determine if a model existed that significantly increased the researcher's ability to correctly classify volunteers on their participation status in clinical research trials. The overall model was meaningful and successful in correctly classifying 74.6% of the original grouped cases. The strongest findings suggest that African Americans are likely to participate in future clinical trials based on their knowledge and perceptions of clinical research trials. Principal Investigators and research teams which focus on African Americans in clinical research trials should therefore place an increased emphasis on strategic planning that involves participants representative of the study population. To yield results, the plan should be tailored to African Americans, presented as a credible study, designed to reflect trust in the medical care team, and implemented through a continuous educational process.