This project presents a unique opportunity to evaluate a community based culture-centered program to increase older (ages e 55 years) black/African Americans'participation in clinical research. "A Dose of Hope," will engage one of the most powerful forces for community and personal behavioral change in the South, African American communities of faith. Few interventions designed to increase racial and ethnic minority participation in clinical research have been subjected to rigorous scientific evaluation let alone those tailored for older Americans. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment of the multifaceted "Dose of Hope" intervention will inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-developed interventions on a national level. This project will enroll 2 matched cohorts, of 105 volunteers each, drawn from 6 representative churches across the Atlanta metropolitan area resulting in a sample of 210 participants. Churches will be matched on selected characteristics including denomination type and membership size. The intervention consists of a half-day program with facilitated small group discussions at 3- and 6-month timepoints. The intervention groups will participate in activities that promote knowledge about minorities and their historical experiences in clinical research, group harms, contemporary clinical trial ethics and regulations, and opportunities for community involvement in clinical research. The control groups will receive general printed material about clinical research. All participants will undergo baseline assessment with follow up at 3- and 6- month intervals. The primary outcome of the study will be the difference in proportions of volunteers in the intervention and control groups who enroll in a clinical trial at one-year post-intervention. The results of our study will fill a critical gap in rigorously tested approaches to increase the numbes of older racial and ethnic minorities in clinical trials which will help address health disparities and will further our understanding of the influence of social networks on clinical trials participation.
Participation of older black/African Americans in clinical research studies is much lower compared to whites despite the fact that the group is disproportionately impacted by many chronic, degenerative, and infectious diseases. "A Dose of Hope" was created to increase diversity and participation in research trials through engagement with black/African American communities of faith. Our goal is to understand if the "Dose of Hope" program is effective in achieving greater enrollment of older blacks in clinical studies, and what elements of the program specifically contribute to the realization of greater enrollment of this group.