IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Language, informed consent and inclusivity in medical research and practice

07 July 2021, 12:00 pm–1:30 pm

Woman in science lab. Image: Tony Slade for UCL

This webinar from the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics and International Consortium for Communication in Health Care will discuss some of the linguistic issues around inclusion and informed consent in medical research and practice.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Andrea Vaughan

It is well-established that certain groups are under-recruited in clinical trials and their health needs underrepresented in medical research and practice. 

The reasons are complex and systemic, but one element is linguistic and cultural competence of patients and clinicians: from demands of explaining and understanding complex information, to how (perceived) language ability is used to in/exclude. 

These problems are particularly salient in multicultural societies around the world, such as Hong Kong, Australia and UK. 

In this webinar, experts will discuss linguistic issues around inclusion and informed consent in medical research and practice, exploring how these issues manifest in specific examples. 

They will discuss:

  • language demands of informed consent documents in medical trials 
  • informed consent-in-interaction in multicultural genetic counselling consultations involving minors 
  • translation of informed consent documents into multiple languages 
  • impact of ‘must speak English’ criterion on recruitment to medical trials 
  • inadvertent exclusion of target groups from medical research.

This will be followed by audience discussion of related concerns and possible solutions from around the world.



Image: Tony Slade for UCL