The Impact of Racial Concordance on African American Participation in Nursing Research: A Qualitative Descriptive Study

Author: ORCID icon
Statler, Marie, Nursing - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Kools, Susan, Nursing, University of Virginia

Background: African American (AA) research participation remains low in the face of desperate mortality rates from cancer. Furthermore, understanding motivational factors that contribute to AA participation in health research is limited; notably, ascertaining the contributions of African American Nurse Scientists (AANS) in AA participation warrants examination.
Purpose: This study aimed to identify and describe the bidirectional relationships between African American Research Participants (AARP) and African American Nurse Scientists (AANS) and how their relationship influences participation in health research.
Methods: A qualitative descriptive methodological approach was used in this study (Sandelowski, 2000). Thirty-three participants (n=33), which included (n=14) AANS and (n=19) AARP, were obtained through purposive sampling across the United States. Data was collected from February 2021 to October 2021 through semi-structured interviews using Zoom web conferencing, which provided deep descriptive data which was analyzed using thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke's, 2006).
Major Findings: The main themes that were identified from the AARP, which included race concordance, being respected, and valued by the researcher, motivational factors that influence research participation, and cultural experience: the normalcy of racism in health care. In addition, the main themes that were identified among the AANS participants included humanitarian respect, designers of culturally sensitive research, cultural experiences with structural racism, and relationship depth. A collective commitment to improving AA population health was shared across both participant groups, including supporting the AA community towards the greater purpose of improving health through research, responsibility-sharing: leveling power dynamics, and shared cultural awareness.
Conclusion: This study challenges the dominant ideology that AA are not eager to participate in research and offers solutions to promote research inclusive of the AARP views and perceptions. Seminal contributions have been made by highlighting the many contributions of AANS that facilitate AA participation in research and the collectivist commitment to improving AA population health through participation in research. Therefore, research in AA research participation strategies needs to proceed urgently, including translational research so the AA community can see how research is impacting and helping future generations. More importantly, it is essential that AAs who elect to participate despite historical and contemporary mistreatment based on race are valued and respected as experts as they hold the link to improving AA research participation.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
African American, research participation, nurse scientists, qualitative description
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