Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 123–128 | Cite as

Lessons Learned in Clinical Research Recruitment of Immigrants and Minority Group Members with First-Episode Psychosis

  • Mercedes HernandezEmail author
  • Richard Franco
  • Alex Kopelowicz
  • Maria Y. Hernandez
  • Yesenia Mejia
  • Concepción Barrio
  • Steven Regeser LópezEmail author
Original Paper


Recruitment of immigrants and racial and ethnic minorities with first-episode psychosis (FEP) for research studies presents numerous challenges. We describe methods used to recruit 43 U.S. Latinos with FEP and their family caregivers (n = 41) participating in a study to reduce duration of untreated psychosis. A key challenge was that patients were not continuing treatment at an outpatient clinic, as initially expected. To facilitate identification of patients prior to outpatient care, we collaborated with clinic and hospital administrators. Many patients and families were grappling with the aftermath of a hospitalization or adjusting to a diagnosis of a serious mental illness. A considerable amount of time was devoted to addressing participants’ concerns and when possible, facilitating needed services. Our experience underscores the importance of establishing long-term relationships through multiple contacts with patients, families, and stakeholders to address recruitment barriers among underserved groups with FEP.


Engagement Families First-episode psychosis Latinos Recruitment 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH103830) awarded to Steven Regeser López.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors certify their responsibility for the research presented and they report no known conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All applicable institutional guidelines for human participants were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Steve Hicks School of Social WorkUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkCalifornia State University, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  5. 5.Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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