From barriers to bridges : promoting participation of older ethnic minority adults into psychological research
Despite the great increase in older ethnic minority adults in our society, their mental health needs are not still widely known. One reason may be the lack of research that examines their mental health status and needs. Another reason may be the lack of research that evaluates existing mental health promotion programs. However, the most serious problem is that there are not enough older ethnic minority adult participants from the target community to obtain data. This paper examines barriers that prevent older ethnic minority adults from participating in research. The paper also describes how these barriers have been affecting psychological research and mental health outcomes of older ethnic minority individuals. Then, the paper further examines how these barriers can be overcome in order to facilitate participation in research including the uses of matching models to systematically assess barriers. Bridges to successful recruitment and retention also include a careful review of traditional research methodologies, development of community outreach programs, using liaisons/gatekeepers, and implementing feedback.