Inclusion of ethnic minorities in telehealth trials for type 2 diabetes: Protocol for a systematic review examining prevalence and language issues

Louisa Edwards, Leila Rooshenas, Talia Isaacs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

363 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Type 2 diabetes is common, on the rise, and disproportionately affects ethnic minority groups. Telehealth interventions may mitigate diabetes-related complications, but might under-recruit or even exclude ethnic minorities, in part because of English language requirements. The under-representation of minority patients in trials could threaten the generalizability of the findings, whereby the patients who might stand to benefit most from such interventions are not being included in their evaluation.
Objective: The aims of this systematic review are twofold: (1) to assess the reporting and prevalence of ethnic minorities in published telehealth trials for type 2 diabetes, including identifying trial features associated with successful patient recruitment; and (2) to determine the proportion of such trials that report English language proficiency as an inclusion/exclusion criterion, including how and why they do so.
Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of adults with type 2 diabetes in Western, English-speaking countries that included telehealth interventions targeting diabetes as a primary condition, and those that did not specifically recruit minority groups will be included. Search strategies were devised for indexed and keyword terms capturing type 2 diabetes, telehealth/health technology, and RCTs in English language publications from 2000 to July 2015 in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL, and CENTRAL. Reference lists of included studies will also be searched. Two reviewers will independently screen abstracts and full-text articles against inclusion criteria, mediated by a third reviewer if consensus cannot be reached. Data extracted from included studies will be checked by a second reviewer and will be summarized using narrative synthesis.
Results: This research is in progress, with findings expected by Spring 2016.
Conclusions: This review will address research reporting and recruitment practices of ethnic minorities in telehealth RCTs for type 2 diabetes. Prevalence estimates will elucidate generalizability of existing research, with implications for researchers, health professionals, and policy makers. Identifying trial or intervention features that appear to facilitate ethnic minority recruitment, as well as language barriers that impede it might suggest ways to improve recruitment in future trials.
Trial Registration: PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews: CRD42015024899; (Archived by WebCite at
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere43
Number of pages8
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Inclusion of ethnic minorities in telehealth trials for type 2 diabetes: Protocol for a systematic review examining prevalence and language issues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this