Factors contributing to the attrition of women in the African-American Nutrition for Life study

Brandi N Freelon, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. There is currently a push to increase the number of minorities in cancer clinical trials in an effort to reduce cancer health disparities. Overcoming barriers to clinical trial research for minorities is necessary if we are to achieve the goals of Healthy People 2010. To understand the unexpectedly high rate of attrition in the A NULIFE study, the research team examined the perceived barriers to participation among minority women. The purpose of this study was to determine if either personal or study-related factors influenced healthy pre-menopausal women aged 25-45 years to terminate their participation in the A NULIFE Study. We hypothesized that personal factors were the driving forces for attrition rates in the prevention trial. Methods. The target population consisted of eligible women who consented to the A NULIFE study but withdrew prior to being randomized (N= 46), as well as eligible women who completed the informed consent process for the A NULIFE study and withdrew after randomization (N= 42). Examination of attrition rates in this study occurred at a time point when 10 out of 12 participant groups had completed the A NULIFE study. Data involving the 2 groups that were actively engaged in study activities were not used in this analysis. A survey instrument was designed to query the personal and study-related factors that were believed to have contributed to the decision to terminate participation in the A NULIFE study. Results. Overall, the highest ranked personal reason that influenced withdrawal from the study was being “too busy” with other obligations. The second highest ranked factor for withdrawal was work obligations. Whereas, more than half of all participants agreed that they were well-informed about the study and considered the study personnel to be approachable, 54% of participants would have been inclined to remain in the study if it were located at a local community center. Conclusions. Time commitment was likely a major factor for withdrawal from the A NULIFE study. Future investigators should implement trials within participant communities where possible. Also, focus group settings may provide detailed insight into factors that contribute to the attrition of minorities in cancer clinical trials.

Subject Area

Nutrition|Public health

Recommended Citation

Freelon, Brandi N, "Factors contributing to the attrition of women in the African-American Nutrition for Life study" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1470753.