In their study, Sneed and colleagues noted that researchers must acknowledge and address the presence of racial bias in health care systems. Credit: Getty Images
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects Black individuals. The disease was found to be more frequent and more severe among individuals of African descent,1 with Black patients, especially women, accruing more disease-related damage than White patients with lupus.2
Despite this, only few SLE clinical trials have included Black participants. It has been estimated that Black individuals constitute 43% of SLE cases, but only 14% of trial participants.3
There has been little inquiry into the factors that impact clinical trial participation among Black individuals with SLE. To address this, our research team recently conducted a study to understand factors impacting clinical trial participation in this population.4 In our study, 42 Black women with SLE and/or SLE caregivers participated in 4 focus groups held in Boston and Chicago to understand the barriers and facilitators of clinical trial participation among Black women with SLE.