Objective: We aimed to evaluate the racial and ethnic diversity of study participants in recent pediatric cancer communication literature. Methods: We systematically searched for communication studies in pediatric oncology published between January 2018 and September 2020, limiting analysis to US studies. We considered race and ethnicity as separate categories in our analysis. Two authors screened studies and abstracted characteristics of race and ethnicity reporting and enrollment. Results: Of 98 articles included in this analysis, many studies failed to report participants’ race (21/98) and ethnicity (40/98). Most studies ascertained race and ethnicity by self-report (51/98); 25 studies did not describe how they ascertained race and ethnicity. White participants were overrepresented in studies relative to the US population (median 80% in studies vs 72% in 2020 US census). Racial and ethnic minorities were underrepresented (Black: 7% vs 14%; Asian: 4% vs 7%; Pacific Islander: 0% vs 0.5%; Native American: 0.5% vs 3%; Hispanic 8% vs 19%). Conclusion: Communication literature in pediatric oncology underrepresents all racial and ethnic minority populations and is inconsistent in the reporting of race and ethnicity. Practice implications: Future work should follow best practices to ensure this literature adequately represents the experiences of all families in pediatric oncology.
- Pediatric oncology