Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Public Involvement Coordinator



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Shariq S, Cardoso Pinto AM, Budhathoki SS, Miller M, Cro Set al., 2023, Barriers and facilitators to the recruitment of disabled people to clinical trials: a scoping review, Trials, Vol: 24, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1745-6215

IntroductionUnderrepresentation of disabled groups in clinical trials results in an inadequate evidence base for their clinical care, which drives health inequalities. This study aims to review and map the potential barriers and facilitators to the recruitment of disabled people in clinical trials to identify knowledge gaps and areas for further extensive research. The review addresses the question: ‘What are the barriers and facilitators to recruitment of disabled people to clinical trials?’.MethodsThe Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Scoping review guidelines were followed to complete the current scoping review. MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched via Ovid. The literature search was guided by a combination of four key concepts from the research question: (1) disabled populations, (2) patient recruitment, (3) barriers and facilitators, and (4) clinical trials. Papers discussing barriers and facilitators of all types were included. Papers that did not have at least one disabled group as their population were excluded. Data on study characteristics and identified barriers and facilitators were extracted. Identified barriers and facilitators were then synthesised according to common themes.ResultsThe review included 56 eligible papers. The evidence on barriers and facilitators was largely sourced from Short Communications from Researcher Perspectives (N = 22) and Primary Quantitative Research (N = 17). Carer perspectives were rarely represented in articles. The most common disability types for the population of interest in the literature were neurological and psychiatric disabilities. A total of five emergent themes were determined across the barriers and facilitators. These were as follows: risk vs benefit assessment, design and management of recruitment protocol, balancing internal and external validity considerations, consent and ethics, and systemic factors.ConclusionsBoth barriers and facilitators were often highly spec

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