According to the study, to be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in April, rural patients are often underrepresented in clinical trials and biobanking, in which samples of bodily fluids or tissue are collected for medical research. That means researchers don't understand as much as they could about rural populations.
Terry Davis, professor of medicine and pediatrics at Louisiana State University and co-author of the study, said it's a communication problem: "Researchers often assume that patients and community providers know more than they do about clinical trials and understand all of our jargon."
One recurring problem was differences in terminology. Researchers might say "clinical trials" whereas patients might call them "studies." And while researchers say "biobanking," the patients Davis and her colleagues surveyed better understood them saying "your blood or tissue will be stored in a bank."