The Problem, unmet needs, new tools that impact

"Compared to Whites, African Americans are 29% more likely to die from heart disease;the death rate is twice as high for prostate and the highest of all races for diabetes. MoreAfrican American women die from breast cancer than any other group."

There exists an unequal burden of cancer among minorities and the underserved.American Cancer Society reports African-Americans are more likely to develop cancerthan all other racial and ethnic groups. African Americans will account for adisproportionate number of these cancers and men in particular have a 20% higherincidence rate and a 40% higher death rate from all cancers combined than white men.Five-year survival rates reveal that Blacks have the lowest rates, compared with all other ethnic groups.

The 2010 Census is expected to reveal more data related to the actual numbers of minorities in the US. Minorities have the most disparities and are un-mined gold fields for disseminating disease education, lifestyle information and health communications. With new drugs in the pipeline that address diseases with high African American mortality rates, 3 it becomes expedient that health and wellness information be directed to this audience in ways that are effective and accepted.

Assessment of Needs Research
Lack of accurate cancer-related information that is readily available, understandable, clear and delivered in a sensitive and culturally acceptable manner is a major contributor to the inability of patients and the public to obtain the most appropriate cancer prevention, treatment and supportive care. President's Cancer Panel, National Institute of Health 2001

Research conducted over the past few decades has consistently shown a race, age and gender gap when it comes to access to cutting-edge clinical trials for patients diagnosed with cancer. Minority participation in clinical trials has traditiAfrican Americansonally been low, with reports ranging from 3% to 20%. For many years, racial and ethnic minority accrual to NCI-sponsored cancer treatment trials paralleled the incidence of new cancer cases among those ethnic groups. However, in recent years, a new trend has emerged. Although the number of minority patients enrolled in clinical trials has remained relatively stable, the overall number of individuals admitted to trials has increased, therefore decreasing the minority percentage. For example, from 1998 to 2001, enrollment of black patients into clinical trials remained relatively stable (2309 versus 2347, respectively), however, a 22% increase in overall clinical trial accrual occurred from 23,343 in 1998 to >30,000 in 2001. According to research literature African Americans are interested primarily in being educated about research studies and lack of information was a primary reason they did not participate in clinical trials (Roberson, 1994). In addition, the literature stated "African Americans requested broader education about the importance of opportunities for participation in medical research" (Corby-Smith et al. 1999).
Many health professionals and leaders in the African American community cite the Tuskegee Study, a 40-year study of the effects of syphilis on African-American men, as a factor contributing to low participation of African Americans in routine preventive care, clinical trials, and organ donation. Even though an effective treatment for syphilis was discovered in the 50s, the study continued for another 20 years and men involved were neither given treatment nor told of any treatment option. The impact of this abuse serves as a barrier that has engendered fear and mistrust of clinical research, especially among members of the African American population. Misuse of African Americans by the American health care system existed long before Tuskegee, however, as documented by the use of African Americans as research subjects for autopsies, dissections, and experiments during slavery for medical student training in southern medical schools. These historical occurrences are not forgotten in the African American community. In recent years, African Americans were reluctant to participate in clinical trials to test new AIDS treatments, citing a fear of a government conspiracy. Historical incidents, along with individual stories of mistrust and fear of research institutions, create an atmosphere of distrust among African Americans that still surrounds clinical research.

Discovering New Tools, Solutions Through Field Research:
A new national three-year field research study, called C.E.D.R.I.C.T. (pronounced CED' rick)4 is designed by NPFR to learn how to increase African American and minority participation in health education and clinical trails at and from ground zero. The study, which began last summer, addresses the expediency to create and utilize familiar, onthe- ground educational tools to address, navigate and increase African American and underserved population's ability to access disease and health information.

Understanding that the three-year field research and registration will yield critical insight into the health needs of hard-to-reach African American and underserved populations, C.E.D.R.I.C.T. outreached face-to-face with focus groups and event floor surveys to over 150,000 African American participants at large national regional and local gatherings. These events served as fertile grounds for data collection from a broad intercultural crosssection of African Americans. Working these large events, it was necessary to be brief and pointed, and attempt to tap into the immediate health needs of the audiences through surveys and focus groups.

Contact Us

National Physician and Family Referral (NPFR) Project
14902 Preston Road, #404-744, Dallas, TX 75254
See also:

STAY HEALTHY where it matters
Register to participate to get mobile health tips of your choice on your cell phone

Educational Outreach Components

The CEDRICT project has developed a patient and community health education project entitled: "African American Health Matters", a mobile text message service that reminds subscribing African Americans of all ages about health matters critical to their daily lives. The Mobile Health Text Message Service kicked off September 19, 2009 with nearly 5,000 ground-zero subscribers. In less than a year over 50,000 subscribers receive monthly and bi-monthly health tips messages. The companion web site,, allows the health text message service to tap into a younger group of African Americans, and the professionals, educators and black entrepreneurs.

AACT I Lecture Series 2012