Ensuring Minority Representation in Healthcare
Racial minorities and other marginalized communities are chronically under-represented in clinical research. Incomplete data contributes to systemic injustice and social determinants of health. The average study claiming success enrolled African Americans at only 1/3 population level, and the best study underrepresented African Americans by half!
While underrepresentation has long been a problem in healthcare and clinical studies, it has been brought to the forefront once again with the COVID-19 pandemic's disproportionate impact on minority communities.
As Values Data Group Officer, Emilee Lord, described in her article, "Top 3 Things the U.S. Can Do Now To Better Fight COVID-19":
"Prevalence studies can also give an accurate picture of the pandemic’s impact on people of color, but they must be designed to enroll a diverse, representative population sample. Because prevalence studies can estimate COVID-19 infection rates independent of state data collection methods, groups like Hispanics that were excluded from many state-reported counts can be fully represented in these studies. But fully-inclusive samples are not the norm or expected (e.g., Black Americans are generally undercounted by ⅔ in clinical research). That must change — and it must change now in order to help the Americans most impacted by COVID-19."