City Research Online

Factors which influence ethnic minority women’s participation in maternity research: A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies

Lovell, H., Silverio, S. A., Story, L. , Skelton, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-0132-7948 & Matthew, J. (2023). Factors which influence ethnic minority women’s participation in maternity research: A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies. PLoS ONE, 18(2), e0282088. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0282088


Women from Black, Asian and mixed ethnicity backgrounds in the UK experience higher rates of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, and report poorer experiences of maternity care. Research is required to understand how to reduce these disparities, however, it is acknowledged these groups of women are under-represented in clinical research.

To investigate factors which influence participation in maternity research for women from an ethnic minority background.

A systematic review was conducted to examine influencing factors for research participation. MEDLINE/CINHAL/PsycInfo/EMBASE databases were systematically searched in March 2021 and updated in March 2022. Papers were eligible if they explored maternal research participation and identified a woman’s ethnicity in the results. No restrictions were placed on methodology. A convergent integrated approach was used to synthesise findings.

A total of 14 papers met the inclusion criteria. Results were divided into eight overarching themes. A personalised approach to recruitment and incorporating culturally sensitive communication and considerations enhanced research participation. Distrust around sharing data, a perception of risk to research participation, and research lacking in personal relevance adversely affected the decision to participate. Large variation existed in the quality of the studies reviewed.

Consideration of a woman’s culture and background in the design and the delivery of a maternity research study may facilitate participation, particularly when sampling from a specific population. Further research, informed by women from ethnic minority backgrounds is warranted to develop women-centred recommendations for conducting inclusive maternity research.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2023 Lovell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
[thumbnail of journal.pone.0282088.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (946kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login