Background: This analysis was conducted to determine whether there is a difference among blacks, Hispanics, and whites in their perception of risks associated with participating in either a biomedical study or a cancer screening. Methods: The Tuskegee Legacy Project Questionnaire, which focused on research subject participation, was administered in two different surveys (1999-2000 and 2003) in seven cities. The Cancer Screening Questionnaire was administered in 2003 in three cities. Results: The study sample across the three surveys consisted of 1,064 blacks, 781 Hispanics, and 1,598 non-Hispanic whites. Response rates ranged from 44% to 70% by city. Logistic regression analyses, adjusted for age, sex, education, income, and city, revealed that blacks and Hispanics each self-reported that minorities, compared with whites, are more likely to be "taken advantage of" in biomedical studies and much less likely to get a "thorough and careful examination" in a cancer screening (odds ratios ranged from 3.6 to 14.2). Conclusions: Blacks and Hispanics perceive equally high levels of risk for participating in cancer screening examinations and for volunteering to become research subjects in biomedical studies. This perception provides a strong message about the need to overtly address this critical health disparities issue.
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