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September 2021

Tuong Phan with computer tablet jpeg
Tuong Phan

Community called to take part in clinical trials

Critically-ill and high-risk patients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds are being encouraged to take part in clinical trials.

Clinicians, researchers and language experts from the University of Melbourne have been working on ways to improve access to and participation in medical research and clinical trials.

With up to 50 per cent of patients in metropolitan hospitals in Australia coming from a non-English speaking background, many patients who fit the criteria for acceptance into clinical trials are missing out on the benefits of participating in clinical trials.

This missed opportunity highlights the need to overcome barriers to health care engagement, literacy and access.

Professor Robyn Woodward-Kron from the University’s Melbourne Medical School said it was vital to increase opportunities for patients by providing accessible, culturally-appropriate information with patient-centred consent processes.

‘We found the most effective way to communicate with this audience was through a two-minute video.

‘As part of our research, we tested the videos on non-English speakers for usability and acceptability,’ Professor Woodward-Kron said.

The program of research was initiated by Dr Tuong Phan, anaesthetist at St Vincent’s Hospital, who appears in the videos.

‘Increased engagement with clinical trials has a great impact on future clinical practices and we need to continue the sharing of knowledge with the wider community,’ Dr Phan said.

The videos are available in Italian, Mandarin, Vietnamese and English.

Greek will be added soon.

• To watch the videos visit https://vimeo.com/critcareunimelb.