Latino beliefs about biomedical research participation: a qualitative study on the U.S.-Mexico border

J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2014 Oct;9(4):10-21. doi: 10.1177/1556264614544454. Epub 2014 Aug 5.


Latinos are under-represented in biomedical research conducted in the United States, impeding disease prevention and treatment efforts for this growing demographic group. We gathered perceptions of biomedical research and gauged willingness to participate through elicitation interviews and focus groups with Latinos living on the U.S.-Mexico border. Themes that emerged included a strong willingness to participate in biomedical studies and suggested that Latinos may be under-represented due to limited formal education and access to health information, not distrust. The conflation of research and clinical care was common and motivated participation. Outreach efforts and educational interventions to inform Latinos of participation opportunities and clarify harms and benefits associated with biomedical research participation will be essential to maintain trust within Latino communities.

Keywords: Latino; biomedical research; community perceptions; ethnicity; qualitative; recruitment; therapeutic misconception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Perception
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Subjects*
  • Trust
  • United States