Trust in prostate cancer information: the importance of racial representation
This study examines how important it is for Black men to have access to trustworthy information about prostate cancer – a disease that disproportionately affects them. Black men are not well represented in online content about prostate cancer that many people use to learn about health but do not always trust what they find there. Dr. Stacy Loeb and collaborators examined whether having Black speakers in online videos about prostate cancer would increase trust in the information among Black viewers.
U.S. men aged 40 or older were split into groups that watched a video presented by either a Black or White physician concerning prostate cancer screening or clinical trials. The video was presented by either a Black or White physician or a Black or White patient. After watching the video, the men then answered questions.
More Black men trusted the videos with Black speakers; they trusted videos presented by physicians more than by patients and
videos about screening more than those about clinical trials.
White men trusted videos by physicians more than by patients and videos about screening more than about clinical trials. The race of the speaker did not make a significant difference in trust for White men.
Thus, the study shows that having Black speakers in videos about prostate cancer can boost trust in the information for Black men. It emphasizes the importance of having physicians involved in disseminating health information, the need for more diversity in health information online, and the importance of educating the public about clinical trials.
JAMA Network Open. 2023;6(7):e2324395. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.24395