Engaging Asian Americans for Mental Health Research: Challenges and Solutions

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 1249 Boylston Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.
Journal of Immigrant Health 05/2005; 7(2):109-16. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-005-2644-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Asian American communities have important and unmet mental health needs, but there is comparatively little research data on process and outcomes that can guide evidence-based approaches to mental health care. This paper describes our experience of building research programs in a community-based health care facility, some of the challenges we faced, and barriers that were overcome. We have learned that a) mental health services research can be carried out in a community health center with minimal intrusion on usual patient flow; b) the effort must be shared between the health center and the community; c) barriers to participation in mental health research programs are multifactorial ranging from conceptual, cultural, and attitudinal biases to practical concerns inherent in the ethnic minority population; and d) resistance can be overcome by working with participants' cultural and social needs and using their explanatory belief models when developing and pursuing studies.

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    • "Healing was thus conceptualized as a communal process, facilitated by public healing rituals to address historical traumas. Evaluation of CBPR approaches provides evidence of greater community acceptance and participation in interventions that emerge from this collaborative process (Chen et al., 2005). However , establishing causal linkages between the interventions, participation in the research process itself, and health outcomes is hindered by the lack of experimental controls. "
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