National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 to October 15. We would like to honor this month by featuring some resources (from PRIM&R and from other organizations) that highlight the importance of the inclusion of the Latinx community in clinical research.
The Latinx community makes up roughly 18.5% of the US population, but it is underrepresented when it comes to clinical trials. This lack of representation in clinical trials makes it difficult for Latinx people to potentially benefit from new treatments. This is especially noticeable in cancer clinical trials—with less than 10% of cancer trial volunteers being Latinx while cancer is the leading cause of death for the community. There are a number of factors that deter Latinx from participating in clinical trials, including language, cultural, financial, and social barriers. It is the lack of representation that highlights the importance of being inclusive and accommodating towards all clinical trial volunteers. Read more
There are many gaps in the clinical research system that leave many Latinx individuals excluded from trials and treatments. Lack of translation combined with inaccurate translation make it difficult to communicate with Hispanic individuals who are potentially willing to learn about joining clinical trials. There is also a lot of mistrust of the medical system within these communities. Past issues of medical negligence of these communities have caused many Latinx to become skeptical of trials and treatments. These are just a few examples of components preventing clinical research trials from having more Latinx participants. The importance of researchers being forthcoming, transparent, and inclusive is crucial to the willingness of potential trial volunteers, and ultimately, the quality of the treatment they receive. Listen to the podcast
It is always important to take diversity and inclusivity into consideration, especially in clinical research trials. Undocumented individuals face additional challenges and exclusion from studies because they are at risk of public charge and/or medical deportation. Studies, such as those for Covid-19, should consider the impact of potential data leaks (PHI and HIPAA) of their undocumented clinical trial participants. It is possible that an undocumented immigrant receiving lifesaving medical treatment could be sent back to their home country. It is crucial for clinical trials to make sure that these vulnerable populations are given a clear understanding of the informed consent forms they sign. It also makes it that much more important to protect the modification of consent forms. Watch the session