Ways To Improve Diversity In Clinical Trials
- Actively do outreach to minorities through community groups.
- Enlist minority patients who’ve gone through clinical trials to speak to their advantages.
- Encourage medical caregivers, like physicians, of the same race to explain the risks and benefits of a clinical trial to underrepresented minorities.
Why are minorities not taking advantage of these clinical trials and how can we fix it? Dr. Ted Teknos, president and scientific director of University Hospital’s Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, says part of the problem is mistrust.Read More
Steps to Encourage Change
Understanding that history can help the healthcare community better provide access to clinical trials for our African American and minority populations, he notes. To address the problem requires a multi-pronged approach:
- We’ve created community outreach groups that meet in places of worship and other community centers in an effort to describe the benefits of clinical trials to our underrepresented minority populations in a very systematic way.
- We’ve enlisted the help of patient advocates who’ve gone through clinical trials and can speak to the advantages they saw by participating in their clinical trial.
- And finally, having caregivers who are of the same race helps significantly. So we very intentionally tried to enroll and enlist as many of our African American caregivers — physicians, advanced practice providers, and clinical research specialists — to explain the risks and benefits of a clinical trial to our underrepresented minorities.
“Minorities are much more likely to enroll if someone like themselves describes the risks and benefits associated with with a clinical trial to them,” says Dr. Teknos. “And I think that’s a winning strategy.”