PCS|Research Case Study: Inclusive Participation in primary care research

PCS|Research is working in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council to develop a powerful new tool for inclusive participation in primary care research.

Clinical research is essential to ensure primary care services provide the best care for their communities. To do this well, research projects must incorporate people from all walks of life. But a longstanding problem has been equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) in patient recruitment and participation, leading to unrepresentative results that risk structural bias in the health system. 

Researchers in Sheffield have developed a powerful geospatial mapping tool to help recruit more diverse and representative research participants in the region.

The project team headed by Dr Jon Dickson have developed a two-pronged method of data and engagement for equal, inclusive and diverse primary care research.  

Dr Dickson explains, “Most clinical research in the UK tends to only reach the most affluent, most capable, least challenged segments of society, and tends to exclude people who are deprived, people from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities,”

“An inclusive approach is much more complicated than the traditional way, where you just recruit the able, willing people who’ve got no barriers to taking part in research. 

“You need to think very carefully about the characteristics of the people you want to recruit so that, at the end of the study, you’ve got a representative population included in the project.” 

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