Improving Research Literacy in Diverse Minority Populations with a Novel Communication Tool

Melissa A. Simon, Rodney Haring, Elisa M. Rodriguez, Evelyn González, Judith S. Kaur, Marcie Kirschner, Laura Tom, Catherine A. O’Brian, Mira L. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Racial/ethnic minorities are underrepresented in clinical research in the USA for multifarious reasons, including barriers to effective communication between researchers and potential research participants. To address the communication barriers between researchers and potential participants, we developed a Research Literacy Support (RLS) tool. The focus of this report is to present findings from the second and third phases of development that refined and assessed usability of the RLS tool. We utilized a mixed-methods approach that entailed iterative cognitive testing with participants (N = 52) from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds and interviews with clinical research recruiters (N = 20) to modify and refine the design and content of the RLS tool (phase 2). This was followed by assessment of the usability of the RLS tool by 100 participants (phase 3). During phase 2, participants provided feedback about layout, word choice, and comprehension of the tool. In phase 3, participants recognized that they had gained knowledge about clinical research from the RLS tool, although they still had a substantial learning gap after using the tool, indicating an opportunity for further refinement. The RLS tool may help advance health equity by addressing communication barriers that may impede minority participation in clinical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1129
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Biobanking
  • Cancer health disparities
  • Clinical research
  • Health equity
  • Research literacy


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