For The Breast of Us and Sommer Consulting to Highlight Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month Four Major Barriers that Prevent BIWOC from Participating in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
JACKSONVILLE, FL (October 5, 2021) – Logistics – including availability, childcare and time – is one of four major barriers preventing Black, indigenous, women of color (BIWOC) from participating in breast cancer clinical trials, according to a research study conducted by For The Breast of Us – an online community dedicated to women of color affected by breast cancer – and Sommer Consulting – a consulting firm that conducts qualitative and quantitative research with patients and healthcare professionals.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the two organizations will highlight each week one of four major barriers that prevent members of the BIWOC community from participating in breast cancer clinical trials, uncovered in their recent research study.
The study found that the anticipated time demands of a clinical trial are too daunting, as most women are juggling multiple demands in their lives. As primary caregivers and employees, the logistics of participating in a trial make things even more complicated.
Women with children are concerned with who will take care of their kids if they are part of a clinical trial, especially those who do not have a network of family or friends to help. Some women in the workforce do not have the luxury of having flexible schedules or employers who will work with them so they can get to doctors’ appointments. Coordinating their work schedules is typically challenging enough with their standard treatments, and they anticipate clinical trial schedules would be even more demanding.
“You still have to worry about how am I going to run my household, especially as a woman of color, who typically a lot of times are single-family or single-parent households. Single-income households or whatever you want to call it,” said one Black breast cancer patient during the study. “It’s really, really hard to just put everything aside and say, ‘I’m going to participate in this’ when you’re worried about how you’re going to make your ends meet if you do that. So, it’s almost like, do I participate in this clinical trial that may save my life, or…do I go to work and pay my bills so I can take care of my kids and my family? And that shouldn’t be an issue. That shouldn’t be a factor that someone has to consider when accepting a clinical trial.”
For the Breast of Us and Sommer Consulting conducted a nationwide research initiative to understand the experiences of women in healthcare and uncover solutions to increase BIWOC representation in clinical trials. The one-and-a-half-month study included 59 women and consisted of 45-minute in-depth interviews.
The second phase of the research is now ongoing, and participants are still needed to further this important research. The two organizations are recruiting for additional survey respondents across various demographics. Those interested can apply here: breastofus.com/ctsurvey
About For the Breast of Us
Founded in 2019, For the Breast of Us is the first online community dedicated to women of color affected by breast cancer. The website provides tools, resources, and support to help women of color overcome the barriers to quality healthcare and long-term survivorship. For more information, visit breastofus.com.
About Sommer Consulting
Sommer Consulting is a women-owned, custom primary qualitative research firm with a minority-majority C-suite that has harnessed best-in-class practices adapted from the Psychology, Linguistics, and Communications fields for more than 40 years. Visit sommerconsulting.com for more information or to tap into Sommer as a source of current patient and HCP insight trends.