Spirituality and Willingness to Participate in Health-Related Research Among African Americans

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center; UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Community Engagement Core; Senior Scholars Program; School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Epidemiology | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Religion


African Americans remain underrepresented in health-related research. We examined the association between spirituality using the Self-Rating Spirituality Scale (range 6-24) and self-reported willingness to participate in health-related research studies among African Americans. Covariates included gender, education level, employment status, and previous research experience. Adjusted associations were calculated with logistic regression models, with multiple imputation to account for missing data. Results from the logistic regression model show that each one-point increase in the Self-Rating Spirituality Scale was associated with a 24% increase in the odds of being very likely to participate in research (OR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.07-1.44). Those with less than a college degree (OR: 3.59, 95% CI: 1.51-8.54), who were unemployed (OR: 2.34, 95% CI: 1.03-5.33), and had previous research experience (OR: 2.92, 95% CI: 1.22-6.99) reported increased willingness to participate. This work offers new insight for developing recruitment initiatives within African American spiritual communities.


Spirituality, research participation, African Americans, willingness

DOI of Published Version



J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2018;29(1):400-414. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2018.0027. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of health care for the poor and underserved

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed