Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: Addressing the Underrepresentation of Latinos in Clinical Trials

Addressing the Underrepresentation of Latinos in Clinical Trials

Content Specialist

Latinos are a population of particular interest for health care initiatives because Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, have a younger median age than the national average, and are a rapidly growing population. 

Despite the attractiveness of this group as a target population, Latino representation in clinical trials falls far short of their proportion of the total population. As Latinos are more likely to enroll and remain in a clinical trial when referred by someone they know personally, either within or outside their community, long-term partnerships between research institutions and community organizations would provide greater opportunity to increase clinical trial participation among this group.

The barriers to participation of Latinos in clinical trials are institutional, linguistic, and cultural. Following is a snapshot:

  • Immigration status - Latinos who are undocumented or have undocumented family members may be hesitant to disclose personal information.
  • Language -
    • Individuals who predominantly communicate in Spanish may respond best to Spanish language media and may benefit from interacting with bilingual staff.
    • Individuals who predominantly communicate in English would be most comfortable with English language media.
    • Individuals who are bilingual may prefer to communicate in English and Spanish to varying degrees; bilingual individuals move freely between Spanish and English language media, although they are more likely to view English media.
  • Culture - Some Latinos may identify most with Latin American culture, while others may adopt aspects of American culture to varying degrees.

Culturally and linguistically tailored approaches to target Latinos should be explored further, including:

  • Hiring bicultural, bilingual staff
  • Providing face-to-face, personalized information
  • Establishing partnerships with community organizations
  • Producing materials with information relevant to Latinos

However, the complexity of cultural and linguistic identification among Latinos is compounded by the association of these factors with age, socioeconomic status, gender, education, and time spent in the United States. This complexity may explain why culturally tailored approaches to clinical trial recruitment and retention vary and remain inconclusive.

Thus, for Latinos, as with African Americans, it may be best to:

  • Employ a variety of different strategies that resonate with various sectors of this population
  • Develop long-standing partnerships between research institutions and community organizations

 

This is part 3 of the Healthyist's series "Recognizing Unseen Opportunities: Increasing Recruitment and Retention of Ethnic and Racial Minority Populations in U.S. Clinical Trials." For more information on our thoughts on minority recruitment in clinical trials, read part 1, Redefining Barriers to Minority Participation in Clinical Trials, part 2, Addressing the Underrepresentation of African Americans in Clinical Trials, and part 4, Addressing the Underrepresentation of Asian Americans in Clinical Trials.

Addressing the Underrepresentation of Asian Americans in Clinical Trials - See more at: http://mmgct.com/blog/posts/2014/5/6/part-4-addressing-the-underrepresentation-of-asian-americans-in-clinical-trials.aspx#sthash.yE6MuM5D.dpuf


Addressing the Underrepresentation of Asian Americans in Clinical Trials - See more at: http://mmgct.com/blog/posts/2014/5/6/part-4-addressing-the-underrepresentation-of-asian-americans-in-clinical-trials.aspx#sthash.yE6MuM5D.dpuf


Addressing the Underrepresentation of Asian Americans in Clinical Trials - See more at: http://mmgct.com/blog/posts/2014/5/6/part-4-addressing-the-underrepresentation-of-asian-americans-in-clinical-trials.aspx#sthash.yE6MuM5D.dpuf


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