Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 137–146 | Cite as

Barriers to and Strategies for Recruiting Korean Americans for Community-Partnered Health Promotion Research

  • Hae-Ra Han
  • Jeonghee Kang
  • Kim B. Kim
  • Jai P. Ryu
  • Miyong T. Kim
Original Paper


While increasing numbers of researchers are targeting ethnic minorities in order to address their health disparities, the unique health needs of Korean Americans are not well known to the mainstream community, and only relatively few systematic research studies have been conducted in this “hard-to reach” population. The purpose of this paper is to describe the barriers to recruiting participants for health promotion research and to identify facilitators in the community that can contribute to this effort. We have analyzed data pertaining to the 14 studies we have conducted since 1998, which included a total sample of about 2,400 Korean Americans. We describe in detail the unique recruitment challenges that we have faced in regard to the culture, language, sociodemographic characteristics of the participants, such as gender and age, and other community level barriers. Multiple strategies at different levels (individual and community) to address these issues are discussed.


Korean Americans Recruitment Health promotion Community-partnered 



Our studies have been supported by grants from the Faculty Research Fund, Geriatric Nursing-Medicine Research Fund, and OPD-GCRC grant, Johns Hopkins University, National Institute of Nursing Research (R15 NR05315, P30 NR008995), Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund, American Legacy Foundation, Urban Health Institute, Maryland Home and Community Care Foundation, Sigma Theta Tau-Nu Beta, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R01 HS013160 and R03 HS013779). We are grateful to all Korean Americans who participated in our studies and to graduate research assistants Moonju L. Ko, Hyun J. Park, Hwayun Lee, and Gina Pistulka.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hae-Ra Han
    • 1
  • Jeonghee Kang
    • 2
  • Kim B. Kim
    • 3
  • Jai P. Ryu
    • 4
  • Miyong T. Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.School of NursingJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of NursingChonbuk UniversityChonbukSouth Korea
  3. 3.Korean Resource CenterEllicott CityUSA
  4. 4.Department of SociologyLoyola College in MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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