Engaging patients from minority ethnic groups with clinical trials for blood cancer

Smart, A (2021) Engaging patients from minority ethnic groups with clinical trials for blood cancer. Blood Cancer UK.

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Clinical trials are centrally important to the process of developing new treatments and can give some patients access to treatments that they would not otherwise have. However, people from minority ethnic groups appear to be underrepresented in clinical trials. This report, commission by Blood Cancer UK, examines the barriers to trial participation that patients from minority ethnic groups may face, and potential strategies for addressing these. It examines these issues in the context of blood cancer, where higher risks of multiple myeloma, and slightly higher risks of leukaemia and lymphoma, have been reported among particular minority ethnic groups in the UK. While many factors influence the enrolment of patients into clinical trials, some of these become especially salient when enrolling people from minority ethnic groups. This can include eligibility criteria; the impact of biases and stereotypes on patient enrolment; access to healthcare; and, the availability and appropriateness of information and communication, especially in situations characterised by mistrust or language and cultural difference. In the context of blood cancer, some patients experience difficulties due to the complexity and ‘invisibility’ of the disease, accessing care and the long-term nature of some conditions. For blood cancer patients from minority ethnic groups, these difficulties could exacerbate the above-noted factors that may limit clinical trials participation. Strategies for increasing participation among patients from minority ethnic groups are reported around the following themes: building trust, cooperation and understanding; appropriate and accessible information; trial design and practice; developing person- centred research and researcher competences; and research system issues. Some initiatives and resources to support health researchers have been developed in the UK, and practices to facilitate the involvement of people from minority ethnic groups in clinical trials are in use, although these appear to be limited in scope and the effectiveness of different strategies remains unclear. This report recommends that Blood Cancer UK develops the work of its Clinical Trials Support Service to address potential barriers to patient enrolment, and that it advocates for research and policies to better understand and address ethnic differences in clinical trials participation.

Item Type: Commissioned Report

This report is also available from the Blood Cancer UK website at the links below.

Divisions: School of Sciences
Research Centres and Groups: Global Citizenship and Identities
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2021 09:48
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 15:55
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14222
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