Latinos’ experience with and attitudes toward medical research participationedit
Biomarker research, which involves the collection of tissue and bodily fluids such as blood or cerebrospinal fluid, is increasing the ability of researchers to effectively diagnose, monitor and treat disease. For Latinos and other minority populations who bear a disproportionate burden of chronic diseases and disabilities, participation in biomarker research is essential; yet, participation remains low. Garnering an understanding of Latinos willingness to participate in biomarker studies is critical if their burden of disease is to be addressed. This study explored the attitudes and beliefs of Latinos toward clinical research, and the barriers and facilitators to participation in biomarker studies. In-depth, one-time face-to-face interviews were conducted with 26 Latino respondents regarding their willingness to participate in medical research. Qualitative analysis of the transcripts revealed that 2 respondents had participated in a medical research project, 6 had done so vicariously through a friend or family member who had participated and18 not having done so. Results revealed that respondents who had actual or vicarious participation experience did not raise the issue of mistrust and were positive in their willingness to participate in the future. Respondents who had no prior experience reported a lack of trust, but also provided insight into what they would require from researchers in order to be open to participating. Implications will be discussed regarding strategies that can be exercised by researchers to increase visibility about and participation in biomarker studies.