Deterrents to trial participation among ethnic minorities revealed

Diversity

Safety and health concerns, time investment, and lack of support are the top three barriers to participation in clinical studies among ethnic minorities, according to a new report.

The study examined the motivators and deterrents of clinical trial participation among ethnic minorities and outlined strategies sponsors can utilise to minimise deterrents and promote diversity in their research.

“Diversity in clinical trials isn’t a nice to have, it’s a medical necessity. Yet too often in Life Sciences clinical trial diversity is an afterthought and not properly linked to strategies that will make a difference,” said Lindus Health co-founder Michael Young. “This research provides specific and tangible recommendations that are relevant to any trial.”

Conducted by Lindus Health and the University of Oxford, the study collected data from both research professionals and the general population through eSurveys, with guidance from the Enhancing Diversity in Clinical Trials (EDICT) advisory committee.

Focus groups were conducted with members of the general population, with a particular focus on distinguishing between early phase and later phase research.

While the majority of respondents of the general population surveys had never engaged in clinical research to date, Black individuals reported to be more willing to participate in a trial (including early phase research) than Asian. Regarding early phase studies, Black respondents cited lack of trust as a top concern for participation.

Strategies needed to promote diversity

Another key takeaway is that nearly half of researchers did not implement strategies to promote diversity in their study cohorts across all phases, with a higher percentage in early phases (62.5%).

For those who have leveraged tactics to encourage diversity, the most common strategies included location of study sites and advertisements to recruit ethnic groups, translation of study materials, and social media use.

“Clinical trials are not always designed to address barriers to participation for all, and there is a lack of research on how to promote engagement in minority groups,” said Duncan Richards, Professor at the University of Oxford, who collaborated on this study. “Our study with Lindus Health aims to help fill this gap by lending insights on the motivators and deterrents for engaging in interventional research across various ethnic groups in early and late stage research.”

Read the full paper.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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