Self-assessment of cultural attitudes and competence of clinical investigators to enhance recruitment and participation of minority populations in research

Richard L. O'Brien, Omofolasade Kosoko-Lasaki, Cynthia T. Cook, Judith Kissell, Frank Peak, Ethel Hill Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Reduction of health disparities in the United States is a high priority. One means of effecting such a reduction is to enroll persons of groups that are subject to health disparities in clinical trials. One barrier to minorities enrolling in clinical research is distrust of the medical establishment based on past abuses and perceived discrimination. We hypothesized that another barrier is a lack of investigators' understanding and skill in effectively communicating with members of minority cultures. We therefore assessed the cultural competency of faculty and staff involved in clinical care and research at Creighton University Medical Center (CUMC). Thirty-seven faculty and staff members participated. We found that the majority are reasonably culturally competent, but there are areas in which proficiency can be enhanced and recruitment of participants in clinical research can be improved. Most CUMC faculty and staff respect and have reasonable knowledge of the several cultures of the patients for whom they provide care and with whom they conduct research. But there is a need for continued cultural sensitivity/competency training to enhance understanding of certain aspects of minority cultures, group and interpersonal relationships, perceptions of disease and wellness and to improve their access to minority communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-682
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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