Table 1

Key considerations to facilitate the participation of underserved populations in digitally enabled clinical research

Underserved groupsConsiderations
Age extremes (eg, under 18 and over 75)
  • Consider age-related needs including access to and technological preferences

  • Requirements for age-appropriate validated outcome assessments

  • Consider alternative modes of delivery—such as ‘bring your own device’

  • Offer web-based or telephone completion for those without smartphones

  • Consider issues of dexterity

  • Provide training and support

Ethnic minority groups
  • Use culturally validated assessment tools

  • Consider cultural requirements in development of the research and digitised system

Socioeconomically disadvantaged/unemployed/low income
  • Consider alternative modes of delivery—bring your own device

  • Offer web-based or telephone completion for those without smartphones

Language barriers
  • Use validated translations

  • Requirement for translator (including sign language) for interviewer-led completion

Educational disadvantage
  • Ensure content and training is easy to understand by participants with different educational experience

People living in remote areas
  • Internet access may prohibit digitised approaches. Consider backup approaches to assessment such as interviewer completion by landline

  • Consider proxy completion for those with cognitive impairment

  • Use accessible formats to facilitate use by individuals with motor impairments