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Journal of Cancer Education


Preparing healthy community members with timely communications prior to engaging them in a request to donate biospecimens promises to improve the experience of biobanking participation. To this end, a qualitative study was conducted to assess community member knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and informational needs about cancer-related biospecimen collection in a large metropolitan area in southwest Florida. The study utilized purposive sampling techniques to recruit a total of 95 participants to participate in 12 focus groups, segmented by race/ethnicity and language preference (mixed race, African American only, and Spanish speaking) and age (18–29, 30–54, and 55 and older). Focus group interviews were analyzed using content analysis to identify emergent themes. Overall, participants in the 30 years and older groups were favorable toward participating in biobanking if their concerns were addressed, such as confidentiality and consent issues, in contrast to participants aged 18–29 who were more skeptical. For all participants, the desire to participate in research that seeks new cancer treatments outweighed mistrust. Moreover, many cited the potential scientific benefit for future generations as a primary motivator. Finally, in some groups a therapeutic misconception was expressed, where participants expressed a willingness to forego confidentiality of their health status in exchange for therapeutic benefit. This study contributes to the literature on community perceptions of the benefits and barriers of biobanking and adds to the development of meaningful education communication priming tools to advance understandings about biobanking.


This is an Accepted Author Manuscript obtained from the PMC. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at the Journal of Cancer Education.