If we can't see race and ethnicity in research, how will we see racial inequality?

Elsevier, Journal of Physiotherapy, Volume 67, April 2021
McCambridge A.B., Elkins M.R.

Worldwide, people are being asked to reflect on how their beliefs and behaviours – subconsciously and subconsciously – contribute to and uphold systemic racism. As clinical researchers, we are trained to identify and reduce bias in our work, think critically and conduct research that positively impacts the health of society. A lack of racial diversity in research would limit the generalisability of results. A lack of reporting about race would inhibit clinicians from judging the applicability of results to individual patients.1 These issues may compound the well-recognised racial disparities in access to healthcare,2 all of which may contribute to the racial differences in recovery observed with conditions as diverse as low back pain,3 cardiac arrest,4 stroke5 and COVID-19.6 Reflection on this led to the formulation of questions about the extent to which race and ethnicity are evident in original reports of clinical research studies in Journal of Physiotherapy.