African Americans and Blacks have low participation rates in clinical trials and reduced access to aggressive medical therapies. Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a high-risk but potentially curative therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD), a disorder predominantly seen in African Americans. We conducted focus groups to better understand participation barriers to HCT clinical trials for SCD. Nine focus groups of youth with SCD (n=10) and parents (n=41) were conducted at 3 sites representing the Midwest, South Atlantic, and West South Central US. Main barriers to clinical trial participation included gaps in knowledge about SCD, limited access to SCD/HCT trial information, and mistrust of medical professionals. For education about SCD/HCT trials, participants highly preferred one-on-one interactions with medical professionals and electronic media as a supplement. Providers can engage with sickle cell camps to provide information on SCD/HCT clinical trials to youth and local health fairs for parents/families. Youth reported learning about SCD through computer games; investigators may find this medium useful for clinical trial/HCT education. African Americans affected by SCD face unique barriers to clinical trial participation and have unmet HCT clinical studies education needs. Greater recognition of these barriers will allow targeted interventions in this community to increase their access to HCT.
- Clinical trial participation
- Focus groups
- Hematopoietic cell transplantation
- Sickle cell disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health