Summary

Despite growing diversity in the UK’s population, non-White British people are less likely to be represented in clinical trial populations. Poor diversity is a public health issue; if trial participants do not reflect the patients the trial is designed to serve, there is no guarantee that the results will apply to un/under-represented patients. There is also a moral imperative to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to participate in trials. This research aims to explore factors that impact on recruitment of ethnic minority people to trials, and to better understand how those factors differ from the recruitment of predominantly white people.

Our objectives are to: 

  1. Rapidly review trial recruitment evidence specific to the views and experiences of ethnic minority groups in a qualitative evidence synthesis.
  2. Compare the factors that impact on trial participation found in objective 1 to the existing Cochrane Recruitment Qualitative Evidence Synthesis to explore similarities and differences between mainly white participants and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
  3. Analyse findings from objective 2 to suggest if/how existing recruitment interventions/strategies might or might not work to increase trial representativeness– and if they do not work, make suggestions/recommendations on designing new interventions/strategies for trialists.

The MERIT project is funded by the MRC-NIHR Trial Methodology Research Partnership, and is led by Dr Heidi Gardner at the University of Aberdeen’s Health Services Research Unit. The wider project team also includes Prof Shaun Treweek, Dr Katie Gillies, Taylor Coffey (all based at HSRU), Dr Linda Biesty (NUI Galway), Dr Ratna Sohanpal (QMUL), Anna Kearney (University of Liverpool), and four public contributors based in Aberdeen.

Please click here to view the MERIT protocol

Contact

Heidi Gardner; heidi.gardner1@abdn.ac.uk

Status

Ongoing