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Sharing research results with Latina breast cancer survivors who participated in a community-engaged behavioral RCT study: a descriptive cross-sectional survey study



An often heard and justifiable concern of ethnic minorities is related to researchers' lack of attention to sharing the results of a study with participants after the study has concluded. Few studies have examined the effects of returning overall study results on participants' attitudes, especially among populations underrepresented in research. Among Latina research participants, providing a summary of study results could enhance participation in research. We assess Latina breast cancer survivors' reactions to receiving study results and their attitudes about participating in future studies.


For this cross-sectional survey study, all women who had participated in two behavioral randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were mailed a letter summarizing the study results (using written and graphic formats) and a questionnaire assessing problems and understanding the results, importance of sharing results, willingness to participate in future studies, and format preferences for receiving the results. A postage-paid envelope for returning the completed questionnaire was included. Logistic regression examined the associations of age, education, and rural/urban residence on format preferences and willingness to participate. The survey sample consisted of 304 low-income, predominantly Spanish-speaking Latina breast cancer survivors (151 from urban and 153 from rural communities) who had participated in two RCTs testing a stress management program designed for Latina breast cancer survivors.


Ninety-two women returned the questionnaires (30.3%). Most of the women (91.1%) indicated that they had no trouble understanding the results of the study, and 97% agreed that it is very/extremely important for researchers to share the study result with the participants. The majority (60.2%) reported that receiving the results increased their willingness to participate in future studies. About half (51.7%) did not have a format preference, 37.4% preferred written summaries, and 10.9% preferred graphs.


This study is an important first step to understanding the impact of returning study results among a population that is underrepresented in research. Returning the results of studies and understanding the impact of doing so is consistent with maintaining community involvement in all phases of research. The findings suggest that sharing aggregate research results in simple language yields few problems in participants' understanding of the results and is viewed as important by participants.

Trial registration NCT02931552 Date registered: October 13, 2016 and NCT01383174 Date registered: June 28, 2011.

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