Recruiting racially/ethnically representative participants into cancer prevention research is critical to progress in cancer control. However, participation rate in cancer clinical prevention trials is low. Additionally, racial/ethnic minorities are severely under-represented. Innovative recruitment strategies are needed to improve recruitment of racially/ethnically representative participants into cancer clinical prevention trials. Employer-based health risk assessment (HRA) appears to be a missed opportunity to recruit higher cancer risk individuals into clinical prevention studies. HRA, as part of employee wellness programs, is very common in workplaces nowadays. Using HRA as a new recruitment method is potentially effective because it can reach large and diverse employee populations, assesses many risk factors of cancer, and has a disease risk-reduction philosophy. However, very little is known about the feasibility of leveraging HRAs for cancer prevention trial accrual. This study aims to explore employees'interest, willingness, motivators, and barriers of releasing their HRA responses to an external secure research database for recruitment purpose. Employees'knowledge and perception of cancer prevention trials will also be studied. Key messages to motivate registration as potential prevention trial participants will be identified and tested. This two-phase study will use qualitative and quantitative methods sequentially to achieve these aims. Focus groups will be used to collect qualitative data in phase I of the study. The focus groups will be conducted separately with 3 main racial/ethnic groups of employees. Responses from focus groups will be analyzed to construct a survey that will collect quantitative data from a larger employee sample to validate and assess the variables of interest. This innovative study will expand the functionality of the commonly-used HRA to allow for cancer prevention trials participant recruitment. If this study finds that employees are willing and motivated to use HRA to register for potential eligible cancer prevention studies, a larger study will be proposed to test the effect of a strategically modified HRA on recruitment of racially diverse cancer prevention trial participants. The long-term goal of this study is to identify a better, more efficient way to bring racially diverse populations into cancer prevention research.

Public Health Relevance

Low participation in cancer prevention trials is a significant public health problem in the US because it hinders the scientific advancement of effective cancer prevention interventions. Furthermore, racial/ethnic minorities are under-represented among the participants currently. Innovative recruitment strategies are needed to bring racially/ethnically diverse populations into cancer prevention research. Employer-based health risk assessment (HRA) is an untapped resource that may significantly increase recruitment of higher risk individuals into cancer prevention trials. This study will have a large public health impact by leading the way for HRAs to be utilized as a standard method to create large registries of racially/ethnically diverse potential cancer prevention trial participants.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-SRLB-Y (J1))
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O'Mara, Ann M
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Research Institute of Fox Chase Cancer Center
United States
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