Article Text

Download PDFPDF

OP-05 Barriers and facilitators for engaging underrepresented ethnic minority populations in research: a narrative review
  1. Tarnjit Sehmbi,
  2. Shahina Pardhan
  1. Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK


Introduction Research highlights that participation of ethnic minority individuals in research is low at national level when compared to white counterparts. This poses issues for healthcare, as lack of representativeness in research means that research findings cannot be generalised, and do not provide us with a full picture of how minority populations are affected. This leads to health inequality as these populations are underserved.

Aims This narrative review explores the barriers and facilitators of engaging minority individuals in research in order to understand and facilitate better engagement of different communities in research.

Methods This was a narrative review. Three databases were searched (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO) using the EBSCO platform, resulting in 1316 articles, of which 29 met the inclusion criteria.

Results The main barriers for research participation were: mistrust of healthcare professionals, logistical challenges, language and cultural barriers, and the topic being explored. Various facilitators that may support better research participation included: ensuring transparency around the aims and objectives of the research with participants, building rapport, employing culturally competent researchers, personalised approaches, respecting cultural values, offer of incentives, and the use of community facilitators.

Conclusion To enable wider participation, it is important to understand not only the barriers but also to employ culturally appropriate facilitators and make more effort to use patient and public involvement (PPI) groups across the whole research pathway, offer cultural training for researchers, and adopt a more collaborative way of working. This review highlights the work that needs to be done to make research accessible and inclusive for ethnic minority groups.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.