Recruitment of American Indians and Alaska Natives into clinical trials.

Posted: Mar 31, 2010
Ann Epidemiol. 10. 8 Suppl. S41-48.
KEYWORDS: Non-English Speaking, Language or Cultural Barriers, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Verbal Communications


Lessons for researchers and providers recruiting Native Americans

Why this item may be useful

Several barriers to recruiting American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) to clinical trials are discussed and recommendations are offered for both researchers and providers. The paper may be useful for those interested in increasing involvement of AI/ANs in research and many of the recommendations may also be applicable to other medically underserved populations.


  • Researchers should involve community members in all phases of trial design and implementation. They should consider using traditional methods of education (e.g., talking circle, storytelling) to communicate with tribe members.
  • Researchers should evaluate the applicability of study instruments to the community that is to be studied. It is important to note that there are often differences between AI/AN communities.
  • Providers should modify their patient communication style to make AI/ANs more comfortable and to elicit appropriate information. Adequate time should be allowed for appointments to facilitate communication.
  • Providers should become familiar with tribal traditions regarding illness and death and provide appropriate responses.