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Research project: Minority ethnic patients’ participation in cancer research: An exploration of experiences, attitudes and barriers - Dormant - Dormant

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Including people from diverse ethnic backgrounds in cancer research is of high policy relevance in the UK and internationally. The Cancer Reform Strategy highlights the importance of engaging more effectively with under-served populations within the UK and recommended the formation of the National Cancer Equalities Initiative (Department of Health, 2007).

Minority ethnic groups represent a significant section of Western society and cancer incidence varies by ethnicity (CancerBACUP, 2004; Department of Health, 2007); therefore the validity of research findings is improved with ethnic diversity in cancer research.

Furthermore, it is a fundamental right that the benefits accruing from research should be available to all sections of society. However, in the case of clinical trials in general, it is clear that participation rates for minority ethnic groups have been historically poor (Roberson, 1994; Mason et al., 2003), including in the UK (Mason et al., 2003). Research has begun to explore the reasons for this; however, most studies have been conducted in the US, focusing on the participation of African-Americans and Hispanic groups in clinical trials (Hussain-Gambles et al., 2006).

This study aimed to redress this imbalance by exploring the following areas from the perspective of patients and research nurses:

  1. Research attitudes, experiences and knowledge of minority ethnic cancer patients
  2. Barriers to involving minority ethnic patients in cancer research
  3. Recruitment strategies for more inclusive cancer research
  4. Promotion of cancer research amongst minority ethnic groups

The research report identifies the barriers and facilitators to the recruitment of minority ethnic patients in cancer research. Recommendations are made to enhance the recruitment of cancer patients from minority ethnic groups into cancer research. By exploring these areas, it will be possible to consider how to support greater equity in participation in cancer research.

Project team

Ikumi Okamoto
David Wright
Yasmin Gunaratnum
Phil Cotterell
Claire Foster

Project funder

Macmillan Cancer Support

Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes
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