Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to Enhance Participation of Racial/Ethnic Minorities in Clinical Trials: A 10-Year Systematic Review

Soroya Julian McFarlane, Aurora Occa, Wei Peng, Oluwatumininu Awonuga, Susan E. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


There has not been a significant improvement in the rate of clinical trial accrual in more than 20 years. Worse, the challenge of inadequate representation among racial and ethnic minorities also persists, deepening disparities in health. Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is a participatory communication method that centers on effective dialogue between researchers and community stakeholders with the goal of creating an equitable partnership for health and social change. The objective of the current study was to provide an update since a systematic review in 2012, on the current status of the empirical research, with a particular focus on the elements of CBPR methods used to improve the rate of accrual of members of racial and ethnic minority communities for clinical trials. Our systematic review found a large increase in the number of CBPR related studies and studies related to racial and ethnic representation in research. More than 85% of studies employing CBPR methods saw statistically positive outcomes. Specifically, the elements of CBPR that are associated with these positive outcomes include community partner participation in (1) a study advisory committee, (2) data collection, (3) the development of interventions, and (4) participant recruitment. However, the results of our study indicate that researchers need to be more transparent about the extent of community participation as well as more thoroughly and accurately describe the nature of the partnership with members of minority communities in order to build upon the scientific literature on community-engaged methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1092
Number of pages18
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Our review showed that most of the studies were funded by the federal or national government (n = 80, 76.9%), followed by studies funded by multiple sources (n = 13, 12.5%). Very few studies were funded by academic (n = 3), private (n = 1), non-governmental organizations (n = 4), or multiple sources (n = 13). Additionally, we did not find significant differences in the implementation of CBPR principles between studies of different funding sources [F (5, 98) = 1.29, p =.28]. The authors would like to thank the referenced researchers, community leaders and other study participants for leading impressive community-engaged research projects with underserved communities, and for the opportunity to understand the accomplishments and challenges through this systematic review.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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