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An overview of the diversity gap in clinical research.

Representation of diversity within clinical trial research has long been an issue. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), despite making up 30% of the US population, Black and Latino people account for less than 10% of participants in genetic studies. But if we look back at the history of diverse communities involved with clinical research, we find deeply rooted issues and disturbing experiences that likely contribute to an overall lack of trust in the healthcare industry. The most well-known case leading to this mistrust is the Tuskegee Study, in which 600 Black men were intentionally infected with syphilis – causing many patients to experience complications and even die.

If the ongoing issue of a lack of diversity is not addressed, patient solutions will only speak to a fraction of the population and clinical research will fail to progress. So, in order to ease reluctance and build trust, our industry must identify areas of concern that cause potential patients to hesitate when considering clinical trial participation.

To help ensure that clinical research is in fact representative, we wanted to shine light on statistics uncovered by one of our industry partners – SubjectWell, a risk-free clinical trials marketplace. These statistics come from several rounds of an ongoing survey that focuses on how race influences concerns with clinical trials.

Here are some of SubjectWell’s findings:

  • Black patients report more hesitations when considering participation in clinical trials and a greater desire for safety precautions than white patients.
  • Overall, 77% of patients of color* report that concierge services are important in easing COVID-19 concerns in a clinical trial, as compared to 61% of white patients.
  • 80% of patients of color identify the ability to communicate with a study doctor remotely as important, while 72% of white patients have this same view.

Additionally, when SubjectWell looked closer at the reported concerns and reasons for clinical trial participation (specifically non-COVID-19 clinical trials), the results showed that across the board, more patients of color see various information and accommodations as important for soothing concerns about exposure to COVID-19 than white patients.

You can find more details on this survey here.

By acknowledging and seeking solutions to concerns like these, our industry can focus on easing patient hesitations and building trust, which will ultimately help recruit more candidates – specifically those within diverse communities. And as a result, clinical research can produce more accurate data to ensure the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for real-world populations.

To learn more about patient recruitment and Praxis’ capabilities that can help your study succeed, get in touch with us today.

*Individuals who self-identify as American Indian, Asian, Black, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or multiracial.