Scientific research shouldn’t get polluted by prejudice. Still, an objective investigation has become a rare occurrence in the scientific community today. We regularly encounter racial/gender bias influencing the outcomes of clinical trials. “Systematic errors” is a term used to characterize this bias that compels researchers to prefer one result over others. Males and girls, for example, are underrepresented in trauma and oncology, respectively. Their underrepresentation renders these trials incomplete and their results unsatisfactory. So, how to address this bias and ascertain that people are represented equally in our research? Experts have suggested some methods to end this bias.

Remedies for racial/gender bias in clinical research

There’s a lengthy history of male-only studies being favored in academic spheres in the 20th century and women being shunned. You can consider how the FDA proposed to exclude women from clinical studies who had reached the age of childbearing. In the 1990s, 80% of medicines got pulled from the market due to adverse side effects in female consumers. Similarly, Blacks and Latinos are more vulnerable to diabetes but only present 12% of clinical research subjects. African-American female participants only represent 5% of breast cancer research subjects even though they’re 41% more likely to succumb to this disease than white women. This bias has maligned the results of clinical trials.

Therefore, we need more well-educated individuals to join clinical research management today. There are several careers youngsters can apply in this industry to ensure unbiased research in the future. A clinical research coordinator watches over researchers’ day-to-day activities while ascertaining that all participants understand the essential guidelines. According to PayScale, the entry level clinical research coordinator salary amounts to $72,000 on average. So, how do these coordinators end bias in their trials and ensure that everyone’s fairly represented? We’ll discuss some simple methods to effectively address these prejudices – deliberate or accidental – and bring some fairness to the clinical outcomes.

  1. Establishing your challenges:

In which sort of clinical trials are minorities unfairly represented? First, we must establish problems we intend to resolve. For instance, one ailment called peripheral arterial disease (PAD) blocks vessels that bring blood from your legs to your heart! Both men and women are vulnerable to this disease, but African-Americans are more in danger from PAD. The prevalence of PAD among Hispanics and Caucasians are likely 13% but almost 23% among Blacks. Now, that’s an issue that may render outcomes regarding PAD incomplete if African-American participants are neglected in clinical trials. After establishing the challenge, we can hope to find solutions to end prejudices.

  1. Address your implicit prejudices:

We differ between implicit and explicit biases. Your feelings are implicit if you aren’t aware of them or misunderstand your prejudices. There are certain methods to address this prejudice and motivate yourself to become unbiased. Experts have recommended researchers consider research subjects as individuals who deserve equivalent representation. It will encourage them to develop strategies for ascertaining that research outcomes depict all sexes/races to bolster their legitimacy.

  1. Bring more minorities in the classroom:

Blacks and Latinos aren’t merely underrepresented among research subjects, but they’re also barely found among research coordinators. For instance, not even 3% of practicing ophthalmologists are African-American individuals, whereas merely 3% of oncologists identify as Blacks! It leads to implicit prejudices infecting clinical trials because people tend to favor their races/ethnicities. Thus, enabling more youngsters from minorities to join medical schools will pave the way for unbiased research.

  1. Encouraging minorities to trust these trials:

Another problem involves minorities distrusting clinical studies. A survey shows that merely 42% of African-Americans wanted to get vaccinated against COVID. In comparison, over 60% of white adults trusted it in 2020. So, patient distrust acts as a barrier against the recruitment of minorities in these trials. It’s now essential to build trust with people of color and employ patient advocates’ services to boost the minorities’ engagement. One solution lies in making consent forms applicable in their native languages. Patients should be allowed to discuss clinical trials to earn their trust. That’s how more members of disadvantaged communities will show interest in getting involved in research.

  1. Create literature intended to curb bias:

Encouraging members of underprivileged communities will enhance their participation in tests and trials. Unfortunately – experts have noted – the literature published by researchers to encourage a subject’s participation isn’t adequately written to make them interested. In other words, this clinical research material isn’t intended for their non-white audiences. It’s essential to listen to Black and Latino subjects and create research materials from their perspective. Thus, websites and pamphlets should reflect the patient’s interests by educating them properly. This literature must answer those questions non-white female participants are expected to answer in the language they understand.

  1. Improve inter-medicine communication:

It’s observed that several members of underrepresented communities in the United States frequent community hospitals for attaining medical services. These community institutions don’t provide the required healthcare facilities offered at some of our leading academic centers. Also, these minorities are financially restricted, thereby powerless to journey to the country’s preeminent establishments. That’s why we recommend that community hospitals must be “paired up” with significant clinics to allow the underprivileged establishments to elevate their standards. This practice can increase diversity in clinical trials and eventually transform into excellent community enterprises without prejudices.

  1. Select subjects fairly without discrimination:

Experts have divided bias into three categories which we’ll mention below briefly:

  • Pre-trial bias (selection/channeling prejudice)
  • Mid-trial bias (interviewer/chronology prejudice)
  • Post-trial bias (referencing/confounding prejudice)

While experts identify the target audience, they often become biased during this selection procedure. This prejudice can get removed when the subject populace remains randomized while trials get controlled. It ensures that outcomes are unknown and the selection isn’t biased.


Studying some dominant prejudices in clinical research appears interesting and unfortunate at the same time. A study shows that – even though women constitute 50% of the human populace – they make up only 38% of participants engaged in cardiovascular research. So, why does this bias exist? It’s observed that females compromise just 4-6 percent of interventional cardiologists! So, the solution to remove these prejudices should involve enabling more women to join the ranks in the health sector.

Similarly, investigators must promote the mindful inclusion of female participants in clinical studies to ensure their outcomes aren’t flawed. Racial biases – on the other hand – restrict the sufficient and satisfactory participation of Blacks and Latinos in clinical trials. So, researchers can design literature with non-white men/women as the target audiences. Recruiting females and non-white researchers can also eliminate these prejudices. That’s how we may eventually create wholesome investigative materials.