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Association of Race, Ethnicity and Language with Participation in Mental Health Research Among Adult Patients in Primary Care

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Abstract

Racial and ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in clinical psychiatric research, but the reasons are not fully understood and may vary widely between minority groups. We used the Z-test of independent proportions and binary logistic regression to examine the relationship between race, ethnicity or primary language and participation in screening as well as interest in further research participation among primary care patients being screened for a depression study. Minorities were less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to complete the initial screening survey. Latinos and Blacks were more likely to agree to be contacted for research than non-Hispanic Whites. Among Latinos, primary language was associated with willingness to be contacted for research. Associations between research participation and race, ethnicity and language are complex and vary across different enrollment steps. Future research should consider stages of the research enrollment process separately to better understand barriers and identify targets for intervention.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the professional and support staff at the participating sites for their commitment and participation in the study: MGH Charlestown Healthcare Center, MGH Chelsea Healthcare Center, MGH Internal Medicine Associates, and MGH Revere Healthcare Center. The authors would also like to thank Drs. Joseph Betancourt and Alexander Green from the MGH Disparities Solutions Center for their contributions to the conception and design of the study, Jennifer Riconda and the MGH Development Office for their support of the grant, Dr. Jerrold Rosenbaum the chief of the MGH Department of Psychiatry for his support of the study, Dr. Susan Regan with the MGH Medical Practices Evaluation Center for her statistical support of the study, and Soo Jeong Yoon and Jenny Man for their technical assistance in the study. This manuscript was made possible through the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s program, ‘Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change’ (RWJF Grant Number 66709); Harvard Medical School’s Center of Excellence Health Disparities Post Graduate Fellowship (HDPG); Disparities Mentorship and Professional Support (D-MaPS) Enrichment Award from the Harvard Catalyst Health Disparities Research Program; and the MGH Department of Psychiatry.

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Correspondence to Trina E. Chang.

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Chang, T.E., Brill, C.D., Traeger, L. et al. Association of Race, Ethnicity and Language with Participation in Mental Health Research Among Adult Patients in Primary Care. J Immigrant Minority Health 17, 1660–1669 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-014-0130-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-014-0130-8

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