Issues with Health Research
Despite bearing an unequal burden of disease, African Americans and Latinos continue to be underrepresented in medical research. This threatens both the internal and external validity of evidence designed to improve healthcare delivery and population health.
Health disparities in minority populations persist in part because strategies to improve the delivery of evidence-based practices and services are not being tested adequately within these communities.
In fact, barriers to recruitment and participation are relevant to a broad collection of research bodies, including clinical efficacy, health promotion, health services research, and the broad field of clinical and translational science research.
Low levels of participation of minority populations in medical research calls attention to a history of both a lack of opportunity and lack of trust between affected communities and research sponsors.
Working with community partners to improve Health Outcomes
Sensitivity to the racialized experiences of study participants must inform the research process to permit dialogue on the polarized components of race as an embraced and devalued identity.
The endorsement of community-based research methodologies stems from advocacy of a participatory model of research intended to empower community participants to make decisions about their health and well-being.
Community-based research should be designed to engage study participants in the conceptualization of research questions, the implementation of research procedures, and, most importantly, the sustained application of research findings to health promotion and intervention.