Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2014;3(4):147-152. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2014.01025)

Participation of underrepresented minority children in clinical trials for Fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Chechi T, Siyahian S, Thairu L, Hagerman R, Lozano R


The purpose of this study was to identify demographic data, motivational factors and barriers for participation in clinical trials (CTs) at the University of California Davis, MIND Institute. We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 100 participants (81 females and 19 males). The participants had high education levels (only 2% had not completed high school), a mean age of 44 years (SD ± 9.899) and had at least one child with a neurodevelopmental disorder. The diagnosis of Fragile X syndrome (FXS) had a significant association with past participation in CTs (p < 0.001). A statistical significance for age of diagnosis and participation in CTs was also found (z = ‒2.01, p = 0.045). The motivating factors were to help find cures/treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders and to relieve symptoms related to child's diagnosis. Factors explaining lack of participation, unwillingness to participate or unsure of participation were: lack of information/knowledge about the trials, time commitment to participation (screening, appointments, assessments, laboratory tests, etc.) and low annual household income. These results show that a portion of underrepresented minorities (URM) not participating in CTs are willing to participate and suggests that reducing barriers, particularly lack of knowledge/ information and time commitment to trials are needed to improve recruitment.

KEYWORDS: Fragile X syndrome, autism, ASD, clinical trials, health disparities, URM, under represent minorities

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