Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Clinical Research: a Path Towards Precision Health for Everyone
Healthcare disparities are a persistent societal problem. One of the contributing factors to this status quo is the lack of diversity and representativeness of research efforts, which result in non-generalizable evidence that, in turn, provides suboptimal means to enable the best possible outcomes at the individual level. There are several strategies that research teams can adopt to improve the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) of their efforts; these strategies span the totality of the research path, from initial design to the shepherding of clinical data through a potential regulatory process. These strategies include more intentionality and DEI-based goal-setting, more diverse research and leadership teams, better community engagement to set study goals and approaches, better tailored outreach interventions, decentralization of study procedures and incorporation of innovative technology for more flexible data collection, and self-surveillance to identify and prevent biases. Within their remit of overlooking research efforts, regulatory authorities, as stakeholders, also have the potential for a positive effect on the DEI of emerging clinical evidence. All these are implementable tools and mechanisms that can make study participation more approachable to diverse communities, and ultimately generate evidence that is more generalizable and a conduit for better outcomes. The research community has an imperative to make DEI principles key foundational aspects in study conduct in order to pursue better personalized medicine for diverse patient populations.
24 November 2022
12 December 2022
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