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Exploring the inclusion of under-served groups in trials methodology research: an example from ethnic minority populations' views on deferred consent

Raven-Gregg, Timia and Shepherd, Victoria 2021. Exploring the inclusion of under-served groups in trials methodology research: an example from ethnic minority populations' views on deferred consent. Trials 22 , 589. 10.1186/s13063-021-05568-z

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Background Deferred consent is used to recruit patients in emergency research, when informed consent cannot be obtained prior to enrolment. This model of consent allows studies to recruit larger numbers of participants, especially where a surrogate-decision maker may be unavailable to provide consent. Whilst deferred consent offers the potential to promote trial diversity by including under-served groups, it is ethically complex and views about its use amongst these populations require further exploration. The aim of this article is to build upon recent initiatives to improve inclusivity in trials, such as the NIHR INCLUDE project, and consider whether trials methodology research is inclusive, focusing on ethnic minority populations’ attitudes towards the use of deferred consent. Main text Findings from the literature suggest that research regarding attitudes toward recruitment methods like deferred consent largely fail to adequately represent ethnic minorities. Many studies fail to report the composition of patient samples or conduct analyses on any differences between specific patient groups. In those that do, the categorisation of ethnic groups is ambiguous. Frequently diversely different groups are considered as more homogenous than they are. Whilst deferred consent is deemed generally acceptable, analysis of patient sub-groups shows that this attitude is not universal. Those from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds reported higher levels of unacceptability, which was impacted by previous first or second-hand experience of its use and historical mistrust in research. However, whilst deferred consent was found to increase the numbers of black participants enrolled in some trials, their over-enrolment in other trials may raise further concerns. Conclusions Inclusivity in clinical trials is important, as highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To improve this, we must ensure that methodological studies such as those exploring attitudes to research are inclusive. More effort is needed to understand the views of under-served groups, such as ethnic minorities, toward research in order to improve participation in clinical trials. Our findings echo those from the INCLUDE project, in that better reporting is needed and increasing the confidence of ethnic minority groups in research requires improving representation throughout the research process. This will involve diversifying research teams and ethics committees.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1745-6215
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 24 August 2021
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2021 08:47

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