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Insufficient recruitment of groups underrepresented in medical research threatens the generalizability of research findings and compounds inequity in research and medicine. In the present study, we examined barriers and facilitators to recruitment of underrepresented research participants from the perspective of clinical research coordinators (CRCs).
CRCs from one adult and one pediatric academic medical centers completed an online survey in April-May 2022. Survey topics included: participant language and translations, cultural competency training, incentives for research participation, study location, and participant research literacy. CRCs also reported their success in recruiting individuals from various backgrounds and completed an implicit bias measure.
Surveys were completed by 220 CRCs. CRCs indicated that recruitment is improved by having translated study materials, providing incentives to compensate participants, and reducing the number of in-person study visits. Most CRCs had completed some form of cultural competency training, but most also felt that the training either had no effect or made them feel less confident in approaching prospective participants from backgrounds different than their own. In general, CRCs reported having greater success in recruiting prospective participants from groups that are not underrepresented in research. Results of the implicit bias measure did not indicate that bias was associated with intentions to approach a prospective participant.
CRCs identified several strategies to improve recruitment of underrepresented research participants, and CRC insights aligned with insights from research participants in previous work. Further research is needed to understand the impact of cultural competency training on recruitment of underrepresented research participants.
Translational research should examine racism and bias and improve health equity. We designed and implemented a course for the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. We describe curriculum development, content, outcomes, and revisions involving 36 students in 2 years of “Anti-Racist Strategies for Clinical and Translational Science.” Ninety-six percent of students reported they would recommend the course. Many reported changes in research approaches based on course content. A course designed to teach anti-racist research design is feasible and has a positive short-term impact on learners.
Exclusion of special populations (older adults; pregnant women, children, and adolescents; individuals of lower socioeconomic status and/or who live in rural communities; people from racial and ethnic minority groups; individuals from sexual or gender minority groups; and individuals with disabilities) in research is a pervasive problem, despite efforts and policy changes by the National Institutes of Health and other organizations. These populations are adversely impacted by social determinants of health (SDOH) that reduce access and ability to participate in biomedical research. In March 2020, the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute hosted the “Lifespan and Life Course Research: integrating strategies” “Un-Meeting” to discuss barriers and solutions to underrepresentation of special populations in biomedical research. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how exclusion of representative populations in research can increase health inequities. We applied findings of this meeting to perform a literature review of barriers and solutions to recruitment and retention of representative populations in research and to discuss how findings are important to research conducted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight the role of SDOH, review barriers and solutions to underrepresentation, and discuss the importance of a structural competency framework to improve research participation and retention among special populations.
A growing population of adults living with severe, chronic childhood-onset health conditions has created a need for specialized health care delivered by providers who have expertise both in adult medicine and in those conditions. Optimal care of these patients requires systematic approaches to healthcare transition (HCT). Guidelines for HCT exist, but gaps in care occur, and there are limited data on outcomes of HCT processes.
The Single Disease Workgroup of the Lifespan Domain Task Force of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Clinical and Translational Science Award programs convened a group to review the current state of HCT and to identify gaps in research and practice. Using cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease as models, key themes were developed. A literature search identified general and disease-specific articles. We summarized key findings.
We identified literature characterizing patient, parent and healthcare provider perspectives, recommendations for transition care, and barriers to effective transition.
With increased survival of patients with severe childhood onset diseases, ongoing study of effective transition practices is essential as survival increases for severe childhood onset diseases. We propose pragmatic methods to enhance transition research to improve health and key outcomes.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Stakeholder engagement has been proposed to help realign clinical and translational research with the needs of clinicians, patients, and policymakers. Increasingly, funders and researchers seek to partner with stakeholders to inform study design, execution and dissemination of results. Kids and families Impacting Disease through Science (KIDS) is a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics that seeks to engage youth in clinical research. United States KIDS programs participate in International Children’s Advisory Network activities. The Chicago KIDS Advisory Board program at Walter Payton College Preparatory School, a Chicago Public School, was initiated in 2015 to foster and develop interest in careers in science, research and healthcare and provide youth perspectives to academic and industry researchers on the design and development of pediatric research studies. This project engaged youth advisors in creation and evaluation of a video explaining clinical research and informed consent for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, a clinical partner of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: The Payton program advisory board sessions are 1.5hr interactive seminars held on 1–2 school days each month. During the 2016–2017 school year, students participated in 3 stakeholder sessions, led by Lurie Children’s hospital researchers, to advise development of a script, storyboards, and ultimately an animated video that informs children and families about participation in clinical research to aid in the decision-making process. Qualitative research methods were used to examine attitudes towards clinical research and assess the video on content objectives, clarity of concept, and appropriateness for a pediatric audience. Following production, students from the 2017–2018 advisory board viewed the final video and presurvey and postsurvey were administered to assess the effect of video on the comprehension of 8 key concepts of informed consent on a 5-point Likert scale. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare median pretest and post-test ranks. Results of this analysis were reviewed in seminar and students provided written contribution to this abstract. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: In total, 11 Walter Payton high school students participated in video development and 27, who were naïve to development, participated in the pre and post evaluation sessions. Students ranged from Freshman to Seniors and reflected the diverse ethnic and racial background of Chicago. A positive change from pre to post-test survey was observed in all questions presented assessing comprehension of key concepts of informed consent. The median post-test ranks were statistically significantly higher than the median pre-test ranks for all questions (p<0.01 in all). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Chicago KIDS youth advisors were engaged in all aspects of the design of the research tool and gained experience in stakeholder contribution from study design to evaluation and publication. The students will next be involved in the design of a prospective randomized study to test the efficacy of the video compared with standard recruitment and consent practices. Given the difficulty of recruiting youth for clinical trials, development of effective engagement practices in is critically important. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing youth advisors in a public school based setting.
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