Background: Conducting prostate cancer research, especially prospective data collection in Africa, has numerous challenges. Some of the difficulties stem from socio-cultural factors that consider sensitive topics about men’s health as taboo.
Aim: Our primary aim was determine how to overcome barriers in conducting a transatlantic prostate cancer familial study in African males.
Methods: Key research personnel of the CaPTC Transatlantic Prostate Cancer Familial Project were surveyed about their experiences in implementing the study. The data from the survey was analyzed using SPSS version 18.
Results: A total of 15 key study personnel responded to the survey. About 73% of the respondents reported that the participants requested a home or office visit rather than visit a data collection center. Eighty percent (80%) of the respondents reported that the participants had no preference for interviewer gender. The majority (80%) of the interviewers agreed that answers to questions about participants’ sexuality were most challenging to obtain, but with an in-depth explanation of the importance of the study and assurance of privacy, the answers were obtained.
Conclusion: The best practice for engaging the community for research include community mobilization through sensitization visits and one-on-one talks, use of community ‘gatekeepers’, introduction by relatives, assurance of privacy of health data obtained, the use of incentives and a promise to give feedback on the results of the study both on a personal and community level.