Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

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

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rhys ThomasORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2024 The Author(s). Background: Minority ethnic groups have often been underrepresented in research, posing a problem in relation to external validity and extrapolation of findings. Here, we aimed to assess recruitment and retainment strategies in a large observational study assessing neurological complications following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: Participants were recruited following confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 and hospitalisation. Self-reported ethnicity was recorded alongside other demographic data to identify potential barriers to recruitment. Results: 807 participants were recruited to COVID-CNS, and ethnicity data were available for 93.2%. We identified a proportionate representation of self-reported ethnicity categories, and distribution of broad ethnicity categories mirrored individual centres’ catchment areas. White ethnicity within individual centres ranged between 44.5% and 89.1%, with highest percentage of participants with non-White ethnicity in London-based centres. Examples are provided how to reach potentially underrepresented minority ethnic groups. Conclusions: Recruitment barriers in relation to potentially underrepresented ethnic groups may be overcome with strategies identified here.

Publication metadata

Author(s): van Wamelen DJ, Rota S, Hartmann M, Martin NH, Alam AM, Thomas RH, Dodd KC, Jenkins T, Smith CJ, Zandi MS, Easton A, Carr G, Benjamin LA, Lilleker JB, Saucer D, Coles AJ, Wood N, Ray Chaudhuri K, Breen G, Michael BD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Medicine

Year: 2024

Volume: 24

Issue: 3

Print publication date: 01/05/2024

Online publication date: 19/04/2024

Acceptance date: 24/03/2024

Date deposited: 13/05/2024

ISSN (print): 1470-2118

ISSN (electronic): 1473-4893

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.clinme.2024.100209

PubMed id: 38642613


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at King's College Hospital