Out of the small percentage of individuals who participate in clinical research studies, often they do not represent the U.S. population as a whole. Clinical research has gone through many evolutions when it comes to incorporating previously excluded demographic areas. With data mounting showing the direct correlation between diversity and better outcomes in larger populations, change is in motion. By striving to improve the research participation of LGBTQ individuals, we create an inclusive culture.
Diversifying Beyond Race
Clinical research studies and the volunteers that join them are vital in preventing, detecting, and treating disease. The data gathered from their contributions help us learn more about the safety and effectiveness of new or existing treatments. Every human body is unique, and various genetic, biological, environmental, and cultural factors affect how our bodies process things. These same factors increase our vulnerability to developing health issues, making them more prevalent in a particular group.
Think of a health issue as a puzzle. Each piece has to be different and put in its specific place for completion. Every study participant’s story is used to better understand a health issue by adding another piece to the puzzle. Varying age, race, ethnic backgrounds, and spectrums of gender add more unique pieces to the overall picture. The more diverse participants are, the safer and more effective a therapy is in larger populations.
Gender Inclusion Challenges in Research Involving Women’s Health
Research specific to women often includes eligibility criteria that exclude individuals not born as female (cisgender). Though study criteria may not change, inclusive language in communication and documentation benefits the entire gender spectrum. Using gender-inclusive language, we can make every participant feel safe, respected, and included by the research community. Limitations will likely always exist in some Women’s Health areas. However, if we continue modifying healthcare practices, languages and learning about the health issues important to individuals in the LBGTQ communities, we can all help end their invisibility in research.
Persevering Despite Limitations
Women’s Healthcare Research is committed to advancing options through the clinical research studies we conduct. We strive to provide patients facing women’s health issues with the latest treatments to improve the care of current and future generations.
One of our featured studies is for patients experiencing symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. Enrolling studies are looking into potential new options for this condition common in women. To learn more about getting involved in our BV studies or others actively recruiting, call our team at (858) 505-8672, or check our website.
**Osteoporosis and colposcopy studies are coming soon!**