Research recruitment through US central cancer registries: balancing privacy and scientific issues.


Journal Article

Cancer registries are a valuable resource for recruiting participants for public health-oriented research, although such recruitment raises potentially competing concerns about patient privacy and participant accrual. We surveyed US central cancer registries about their policies for research contact with patients, and results showed substantial variation. The strategy used most frequently (37.5% of those that allowed patient contact), which was among the least restrictive, was for investigators to notify patients' physicians and then contact patients with an opt-out approach. The most restrictive strategy was for registry staff to obtain physician permission and contact patients with an opt-in approach. Population-based studies enhance cancer control efforts, and registry policies can affect researchers' ability to conduct such studies. Further discussion about balanced recruitment approaches that protect patient privacy and encourage beneficial research is needed.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Beskow, LM; Sandler, RS; Weinberger, M

Published Date

  • November 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 96 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1920 - 1926

PubMed ID

  • 16571700

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16571700

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1541-0048

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-0036

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2105/ajph.2004.061556


  • eng