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Latino/Hispanic Participation in Community Nutrition Research: An Interplay of Decisional Balance, Cultural Competency, and Formative Work

      Abstract

      Background

      Latinos/Hispanics are among the populations at high risk of nutrition disparities. Adequate participation of this group in community nutrition research is necessary to better understand such disparities and propose sensible solutions.

      Objective

      To identify factors influencing participation and strategies to effectively reach Latinos/Hispanics for community nutrition research.

      Design

      In-depth interviews with experienced community nutrition researchers across the United States, conducted from February to June 2013.

      Participants/setting

      Nine academics, including four registered dietitian nutritionists with extensive experience in community nutrition research with Latino/Hispanic groups, were interviewed in person (n=3) or via telephone/Skype (n=6).

      Main outcome measures

      Perceived participation barriers, facilitators, and structural factors affecting Latino/Hispanic participation were explored. Successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies to reaching this group were identified.

      Analysis

      A Grounded Theory approach was applied for inductive identification of relevant concepts and deductive interpretation of patterns and relationships among themes.

      Results

      Formative work, cultural competency, and decisional balance emerged as the three interdependent factors influencing participation of Latinos/Hispanics in community nutrition research. Several approaches to influence participation were reported to be operationalized at the interpersonal, community and settings, and systems levels of influence. Trust, time, and tailoring were central concepts, postulated to moderate the relationship between the main themes and influence the effectiveness of recruitment tactics.

      Conclusions

      Experienced community nutrition researchers identified actions ascribed to formative work as the bedrock of successful reach of Latinos/Hispanics. A robust formative work plan is necessary to achieving a functional level of trust, time, and tailoring tactics, which appear to critically influence participation.

      Keywords

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      Biography

      L. K. Diaz Rios is a cooperative extension nutrition specialist, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Merced; at the time of the study, she was a PhD student, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

      Biography

      K. Chapman-Novakofski is a professor of nutrition, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.