Posted by Aston Avery

Promoting research in underserved communities

Research is vital to the NHS and has a huge positive impact on clinical patient outcomes. Involvement in research can allow patients to play a more active role in their own healthcare, as an increased understanding of personalised clinical information enables them to fully participate in the management decisions and care-planning of their condition. In some cases, it can mean that patients may access to new treatments before they are widely available as part of clinical trials. The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is dedicated to promoting research in underserved communities as diversity in research is vitally important to improving health outcomes for the greatest number of people.

Researchers at Moorfields, an eye hospital in central London, are keen to focus on addressing healthcare disparities and research participation among underprivileged communities. Funded by the NIHR North Thames Network, the research team has developed strategies to achieve this including community engagement, increased accessibility, culturally sensitive research, educational outreach, and supporting the next generation of researchers. Moorfields is committed to conducting inclusive clinical trials, ensuring diverse representation to achieve results that are more accurate and representative of the population. We are developing courses targeted at researchers to ensure that they understand the need for diversity when planning their studies. Clinical trials at Moorfields will help develop targeted treatments and interventions for underserved populations, improving eye health outcomes.

Aston spoke to Dr Roxanne Crosby-Nwaobi and Yale Adekunle.

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