Addressing ethnic disparities in neurological research in the United Kingdom: an example from the prospective multicentre COVID-19 Clinical Neuroscience Study

Study code

Lead researcher
Dr Daniel van Wamelen

Study type
Data only

Institution or company
King's College London (Department of Neuroimaging)

Researcher type

Speciality area
Infection, Neurological Disorders, Cross-cutting

Recruitment Site
N/A (data only)


Participation of black and minority ethnic communities in clinical neurological research seems more limited than that for their white counterparts which creates a problem when trying to interpret data obtained in studies and trying to determine if these findings relate to patient in general or just to the group that has been studied in a specific study. These problems are particularly relevant in countries with large ethnic minority communities, such as the United Kingdom. In this project, we want to assess how well the COVID Clinical Neuroscience Study (COVID-CNS) was able to recruit participants from different ethnic backgrounds and understand which recruitment strategies were useful when approaching participants. We will do this by looking at self-reported ethnicity, and several other demographic data (for example age and sex) and determine if the distribution of self-reported ethnicity is the same as in the general UK population as well as the areas of the UK where participants were recruited from. Next, staff working on the COVID-CNS study will be asked to identify the strategies they have used or that may have helped in recruiting participants to the study.

Ethics reference number: 17/EE/0025