Best Practices for Conducting Clinical Trials With Indigenous Children in the United States

Jennifer L. Shaw, Erin Semmens, May Okihiro, Johnnye L. Lewis, Matthew Hirschfeld, Timothy M. VanWagoner, Lancer Stephens, David Easa, Judith L. Ross, Niki Graham, Sara E. Watson, Edgardo G. Szyld, Denise A. Dillard, Lee A. Pyles, Paul M. Darden, John C. Carlson, Paul G. Smith, Russell J. McCulloh, Jessica N. Snowden, Sarah H. AdekyRosalyn Singleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We provide guidance for conducting clinical trials with Indigenous children in the United States. We drew on extant literature and our experience to describe 3 best practices for the ethical and effective conduct of clinical trials with Indigenous children. Case examples of pediatric research conducted with American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities are provided to illustrate these practices. Ethical and effective clinical trials with Indigenous children require early and sustained community engagement, building capacity for Indigenous research, and supporting community oversight and ownership of research. Effective engagement requires equity, trust, shared interests, and mutual benefit among partners over time. Capacity building should prioritize developing Indigenous researchers. Supporting community oversight and ownership of research means that investigators should plan for data-sharing agreements, return or destruction of data, and multiple regulatory approvals. Indigenous children must be included in clinical trials to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes in these pediatric populations. Establishment of the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Institutional Development Award States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ECHO ISPCTN) in 2016 creates a unique and timely opportunity to increase Indigenous children’s participation in state-of-the-art clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1645-1653
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


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