The Effect of Discrimination on Likelihood of Participation in a Clinical Trial

Amie Devlin, Evelyn Gonzalez, Frederick Ramsey, Nester Esnaola, Susan Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: Despite efforts to increase minority enrollment in research, racial disparities still exist, and a belief persists that minorities are inherently less likely to enroll in medical research. This lingering view may impact the manner in which studies are presented to minority patients. This study aimed to assess racial differences in reported discrimination while seeking medical care and likelihood to participate in a medical research study. Methods: 844 residents were enrolled via convenience sampling, and asked to complete a survey designed to examine perceived discrimination while seeking healthcare and likelihood to participate (LoP) in a medical research study. Results: Participants who reported worse treatment than other races had lower mean LoP scores (53.7 ± 17.6) than participants who reported being treated the same as (61.1 ± 16.1) or better than (64.0 ± 15.0) other races (p <.001). There were no significant differences in mean LoP score by race/ethnicity. The interaction of race with discrimination had no significant effect on mean LoP (p = 0.8). There was a statistically significant association between race and discrimination (X2 = 11.32, p = 0.023), although the majority of participants reported no discrimination. Conclusion: Patient experiences in the medical arena may have an impact on their willingness to join a medical study. An effective strategy to increase minority participation in research may be to work with investigators and staff on implicit bias with regard to minority patients. Further research should focus on the impact of research staff interactions on an individual’s decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1124-1129
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Clinical research
  • Discrimination
  • Minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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