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


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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    • "Cleveland, USA, Community African American Depression Gallagher-Thompson et al. 2004 [21] San Francisco, USA, Community Latino Dementia Chen et al. 2005 [22] "
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    ABSTRACT: The ethnic minority population in developed countries is increasing over time. These groups are at higher risk of mental illness and demonstrate lower participation in research. Published evidence suggests that multiple factors like stigma, lack of trust, differences in explanatory models, logistical issues and lack of culturally aware researchers act as barriers to ethnic minority recruitment into mental health research. To reduce inequalities in participation, there is a need to devise innovative and culturally sensitive recruitment strategies. It is important that researchers share their experience of employing these strategies so that ethnic minority participation can be facilitated. We previously published a systematic review of barriers to recruiting ethnic minority participants into mental health research. The nine papers included in our prior review formed the basis for developing a typology of barriers to recruiting ethnic minorities into mental health research. This typology identified 33 barriers, described under five themes. We further extracted data on the strategies used to overcome these recruitment barriers, as described in the included studies. The strategies employed by the authors could be matched to all but two barriers (psychopathology/substance misuse and limited resource availability). There was evidence that multiple strategies were employed, and that these depended upon the population, clinical set-up and resources available. This typology of strategies to overcome barriers to recruiting ethnic minorities provides guidance on achieving higher rates of recruitment. It is important that researchers plan to deploy these strategies well in advance of initiating recruitment. Whilst adopting these strategies, the authors have not been able to quantify the positive impact of these strategies on recruitment. The typology should encourage researchers to employ these strategies in future research, refine them further and quantitatively evaluate their impact.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · BMC Psychiatry
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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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    ABSTRACT: Treatment outcome research focused on ethnic minorities is critically needed to eliminate mental health disparities. Because the conduct of treatment outcome research with ethnic minorities is difficult and complex, we discuss key challenges and present some methodological options suited to provide answers to specific types of questions. We focus first on the randomized clinical trial (RCT) paradigm, reviewing specific challenges facing investigators conducting ethnically inclusive trials. We then highlight the promise of other methods of inquiry to expand the science on mental health treatment with ethnic minorities.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology

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