Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMC Public Health






Background: Addressing knowledge deficiencies about cancer clinical trials and biospecimen donation can potentially improve participation among racial and ethnic minorities. This paper describes the formative research process used to design a culturally-appropriate cancer clinical trials education program for African American and Latino communities. We characterized community member feedback and its integration into the program.

Methods: We incorporated three engagement approaches into the formative research process to iteratively develop the program: including community-based organization (CBO) leaders as research team members, conducting focus groups and cognitive interviews with community members as reviewers/consultants, and interacting with two community advisory groups. An iterative-deductive approach was used to analyze focus group data. Qualitative data from advisory groups and community members were compiled and used to finalize the program.

Results: Focus group themes were: 1) Community Perspectives on Overall Presentation; 2) Community Opinions and Questions on the Content of the Presentation; 3) Culturally Specific Issues to Participation in Cancer Clinical Trials; 4) Barriers to Clinical Trial Participation; and 5) Perspectives of Community Health Educators. Feedback was documented during reviews by scientific experts and community members with suggestions to ensure cultural appropriateness using peripheral, evidential, linguistic, sociocultural strategies, and constituent-involving. The final program consisted of two versions (English and Spanish) of a culturally-appropriate slide presentation with speaker notes and videos representing community member and researcher testimonials.

Conclusions: Incorporating multiple community engagement approaches into formative research processes can facilitate the inclusion of multiple community perspectives and enhance the cultural-appropriateness of the programs designed to promote cancer clinical trial participation among African Americans and Latinos.


© The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.