Factors associated with willingness to provide biospecimens for genetics research among African American cancer survivors

  • Altovise T. EwingEmail author
  • Nnenna Kalu
  • Gloria Cain
  • Lori H. Erby
  • Luisel J. Ricks-Santi
  • Eva Tetteyfio-Kidd Telemaque
  • Denise M. Scott
Original Article


This study evaluated factors associated with willingness to provide biospecimens for cancer genetic research among African American cancer survivors. A total of 200 African American adults diagnosed with breast, colon, and/or prostate cancers completed a self-administered survey. Family history information, beliefs about cancer research, cancer genetics and disparities knowledge, willingness to provide a biospecimen, and demographics were obtained. Chi-square, independent samples t tests, and logistic regression analyses were performed. Overall, 79% of this sample was willing to provide a biospecimen for cancer genetics research. Independent associations of willingness to provide a biospecimen existed among demographics (males (p = 0.041)), those who believed in the importance of genetic causes of cancer (p < 0.001), individuals who believe it is important to participate in genetics research (p < 0.001), and those who indicated they would participate in genetics research to help future generations (p = 0.026). Overall, 12.5–56% of participants demonstrated some level of genetics and cancer disparities. This study identified factors that may be incorporated into future research interventions to engage the African American cancer population in cancer genetics biobanking research.


Biospecimens Willingness to participate Cancer genetics research African American cancer survivors Cancer health disparities 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was not required for this study as identifying information was not obtained. An informational preamble was provided and read by all individual participants included in the study. The Howard University Institutional Review Board approved of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.23andMe Inc.Mountain ViewUSA
  2. 2.College of Medicine Alcohol Research CenterHoward UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Genetic Counseling Training ProgramJohns Hopkins University/National Human Genome Research Institute (JHU/NHGRI)BethesdaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Cancer Research CenterHampton University Cancer CenterHamptonUSA
  5. 5.Transformative Solutions, Inc.WashingtonUSA

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