Working with culture: A qualitative analysis of barriers to the recruitment of Chinese–American family caregivers for dementia research
- Cite this article as:
- Hinton, L., Guo, Z., Hillygus, J. et al. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology (2000) 15: 119. doi:10.1023/A:1006798316654
The National Institutes of Health ismaking efforts to increase the representation ofminority elders in aging research. While it is oftennoted that cultural barriers may make the recruitmentof minority elders into research more difficult,relatively little empirical exists to support thisclaim. The purpose of this study was to identifysociocultural barriers to recruitment that emergedduring a four-year study of dementia caregiving amongChinese families in the Boston area. Morespecifically, this paper examines how culturallyshaped conceptions of health, aging, and dementiaimpacted the recruitment process. This paper is basedon a qualitative analysis of interviews with 23Chinese families and extensive fieldnotes generated byproject ethnographers and interviewers. The followingthemes emerged in this analysis: 1) dementia-relatedchanges were construed as a normal part of the agingprocess rather than a disease, making it moredifficult to identify dementia-affected elders and torecruit families, 2) research participation was viewedas potentially harmful because it can lead toexcessive worry 3) Alzheimer's disease carries asocial stigma among Chinese, leading families to shunformal diagnosis and research participation, and 4)practitioners viewed research as an intrusion offeringno direct benefit to participants.
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