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Diversity in clinical trials starts with building trust, experts say




Diversity in clinical trials starts with building trust, experts say

EDespite the recent realization that clinical trials often lack the diversity that would make them representative, women and people of color remain underrepresented in studies. The work to bring diversity into research is complex, and several experts gathered Wednesday at the Milken Institute Global Conference to discuss possible strategies to move forward, starting with ways to build trust among the communities that have a history of mistreatment or exploitation by the scientific community. Here are some of their big ideas.

Take the time to build trust

“What’s needed is to continue to develop the level of trust and continue to break down barriers,” said Fabian Sandoval, president and CEO of the Emerson Clinical Research Institute, which engages community clinics in studies with the goal of diversification. clinical research. “It’s up to us doctors to take off our lab coats, take off the bow ties and talk to people normally.”

Doing this, he said, requires a currency that is in very short supply in health care: time. Clinicians and researchers working on clinical trials must invest time to build direct relationships with their patients, reminding them that they have the freedom to stop the study at any time (which paradoxically could help increase retention increase), and that they are still cared for as patients. .

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