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Importance of Diversity in Health Research


​​​We will all need medical attention over the course of our lives, and we all want to trust that the medical treatment we receive will be right for us. Many factors, such as a person's age and where they live, can impact their health and recommended treatment. Research studies that include a diverse group of participants are our best tools for improving treatments for all people.

We know that many groups have been underrepresented in health research. For example, the following groups are underrepresented in pediatric hearing research at local and national levels:

  • Children who speak a language other than English at home
  • Children who come f​rom lower-income households
  • Children who live in remote areas
  • Children with hearing loss who have additional disabilities

Unfortunately, the people who are currentl​y underrepresented in health research are more likely to experience greater health challenges. This is why the National Institutes of Health created the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

The NIMHD identified groups in the U.S. that are more likely to have negative health experiences and outcomes; these include individuals who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders, “socioeconomically disadvantaged populations," “underserved rural populations," and “sexual and gender minorities." Researchers across all fields of medicine are working to increase diversity in health research. You can help too! Start here with the BTRV or see what other research studies we have available at Boys Town National Research Hospital.

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