Potential Bias in the Bank: What Distinguishes Refusers, Nonresponders and Participants in a Clinic-Based Biobank?
ABSTRACT Background: Biobanks are an important resource for genetic and epidemiologic research, but bias may be introduced if those who accept the recruitment invitation differ systematically from those who do not in terms of attributes important to health-related investigations. To understand potential bias in a clinic-based biobank of biological samples, including genetic data linked to electronic health record information, we compared patient characteristics and self-reported information among participants, nonresponders and refusers. We also compared reasons for nonparticipation between refusers and nonresponders to elucidate potential pathways to reduce nonparticipation and any uncovered bias. Methods: We mailed recruitment packets to 1,600 adult patients with upcoming appointments at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn., USA) and recorded their participation status. Administrative data were used to compare characteristics across groups. We used phone interviews with 26 nonresponders and 26 refusers to collect self-reported information, including reasons for nonparticipation. Participants were asked to complete a mailed questionnaire. Results: We achieved 26.2% participation (n = 419) with 12.1% refusing (n = 193) and 61.8% nonresponse (n = 988). In multivariate analyses, sex, age, region of residence, and race/ethnicity were significantly associated with participation. The groups differed in information-seeking behaviors and research experience. Refusers more often cited privacy concerns, while nonresponders more often identified time constraints as the reason for nonparticipation. Conclusion: For genomic medicine to advance, large, representative biobanks are required. Significant associations between patient characteristics and nonresponse, as well as systematic differences between refusers and nonresponders, could introduce bias. Oversampling or recruitment changes, including heightened attention to privacy protection and participation burden, may be necessary to increase participation among less-represented groups.
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ABSTRACT: Patients from traditionally underrepresented communities need to be involved in discussions around genomics research including attitudes towards participation and receiving personal results. Structured interviews, including open-ended and closed-ended questions, were conducted with 205 patients in an inner-city hospital outpatient clinic: 48 % of participants self-identified as Black or African American, 29 % Hispanic, 10 % White; 49 % had an annual household income of <$20,000. When the potential for personal results to be returned was not mentioned, 82 % of participants were willing to participate in genomics research. Reasons for willingness fell into four themes: altruism; benefit to family members; personal health benefit; personal curiosity and improving understanding. Reasons for being unwilling fell into five themes: negative perception of research; not personally relevant; negative feelings about procedures (e.g., blood draws); practical barriers; and fear of results. Participants were more likely to report that they would participate in genomics research if personal results were offered than if they were not offered (89 vs. 62 % respectively, p < 0.001). Participants were more interested in receiving personal genomic risk results for cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes than obesity (89, 89, 91, 80 % respectively, all p < 0.001). The only characteristic consistently associated with interest in receiving personal results was disease-specific worry. There was considerable willingness to participate in and desire for personal results from genomics research in this sample of predominantly low-income, Hispanic and African American patients. When returning results is not practical, or even when it is, alternatively or additionally providing generic information about genomics and health may also be a valuable commodity to underrepresented minority and other populations considering participating in genomics research.Journal of community genetics 06/2013; 4(4). DOI:10.1007/s12687-013-0154-0
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ABSTRACT: Large-scale biorepositories that couple biologic specimens with electronic health records containing documentation of phenotypic expression can accelerate scientific research and discovery. However, differences between those subjects who participate in biorepository-based research and the population from which they are drawn may influence research validity. While an opt-out approach to biorepository-based research enhances inclusiveness, empirical research evaluating voluntariness, risk, and the feasibility of an opt-out approach is sparse, and factors influencing patients' decisions to opt out are understudied. Determining why patients choose to opt out may help to improve voluntariness, however there may be ethical and logistical challenges to studying those who opt out. In this perspective paper, the authors explore what is known about research based on the opt-out model, describe a large-scale biorepository that leverages the opt-out model, and review specific ethical and logistical challenges to bridging the research gaps that remain.Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 07/2013; 20(E2). DOI:10.1136/amiajnl-2013-001937 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To report the design and implementation of the first 3 years of enrollment of the Mayo Clinic Biobank. Preparations for this biobank began with a 4-day Deliberative Community Engagement with local residents to obtain community input into the design and governance of the biobank. Recruitment, which began in April 2009, is ongoing, with a target goal of 50,000. Any Mayo Clinic patient who is 18 years or older, able to consent, and a US resident is eligible to participate. Each participant completes a health history questionnaire, provides a blood sample, and allows access to existing tissue specimens and all data from their Mayo Clinic electronic medical record. A community advisory board provides ongoing advice and guidance on complex decisions. After 3 years of recruitment, 21,736 individuals have enrolled. Fifty-eight percent (12,498) of participants are female and 95% (20,541) of European ancestry. Median participant age is 62 years. Seventy-four percent (16,171) live in Minnesota, with 42% (9157) from Olmsted County, where the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is located. The 5 most commonly self-reported conditions are hyperlipidemia (8979, 41%), hypertension (8174, 38%), osteoarthritis (6448, 30%), any cancer (6224, 29%), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (5669, 26%). Among patients with self-reported cancer, the 5 most common types are nonmelanoma skin cancer (2950, 14%), prostate cancer (1107, 12% in men), breast cancer (941, 4%), melanoma (692, 3%), and cervical cancer (240, 2% in women). Fifty-six percent (12,115) of participants have at least 15 years of electronic medical record history. To date, more than 60 projects and more than 69,000 samples have been approved for use. The Mayo Clinic Biobank has quickly been established as a valuable resource for researchers.Mayo Clinic Proceedings 09/2013; 88(9):952-62. DOI:10.1016/j.mayocp.2013.06.006 · 5.81 Impact Factor