For The Breast of Us and Sommer Consulting Continue Highlighting Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month Four Major Barriers that Prevent Women of Color from Participating in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
JACKSONVILLE, FL (October 12, 2021) – Lack of access to quality healthcare systems with connections to clinical trial researchers is the second of four major barriers preventing women of color from participating in breast cancer clinical trials, according to a recent research study. The study was 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 engages in qualitative and quantitative research with patients and healthcare professionals. Last week, the organizations highlighted logistics challenges as the first barrier.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, each week the two organizations are highlighting one of four major barriers that prevent women of color from participating in breast cancer clinical trials, uncovered in their recent research study.
Among the findings, the study found that location, insurance and cost, and language are the three most limiting factors preventing women of color from accessing clinical trials.
Women of color find themselves living further away from quality healthcare systems with connections to clinical trial researchers. Although some may be willing to travel, others have limited transportation options to get to these systems. While location may limit where women of color can receive healthcare, Medicaid/Medicare limit their choices even more. Several women on Medicaid in the study reported having to go to local clinics for care, where they rarely saw the same doctor.
Hispanic and Asian women in the study reported language differences as a significant hurdle preventing them access to healthcare opportunities. These women often struggle to find providers who speak their language, and pamphlets/learning materials are rarely translated.
“I always saw my mom having difficulty maybe explaining things to the doctors because of the language barrier,” said one Hispanic breast cancer patient during the study. “And just witnessing my older siblings trying to help, be the middle person between a doctor [and] my mom, so they can communicate even though, you know, my siblings were adolescents themselves…The sense of frustration, I could see [on] my mom’s face…it might have been a sort of like an embarrassment for her.”
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.