Retaining Hispanics: Lessons From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

Am J Epidemiol. 2020 Jun 1;189(6):518-531. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwaa003.


We aimed to examine the retention of Hispanics/Latinos participating in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), a prospective cohort study of 16,415 adults in 4 US cities who were enrolled between 2008 and 2011. We summarized retention strategies and examined contact, response, and participation rates over 5 years of annual follow-up interviews. We then evaluated motivations for participation and satisfaction with retention efforts among participants who completed a second in-person interview approximately 6 years after their baseline interview. Finally, we conducted logistic regression analyses estimating associations of demographic, health, and interview characteristics at study visit 1 (baseline) with participation, high motivation, and high satisfaction at visit 2. Across 5 years, the HCHS/SOL maintained contact, response, and participation rates over 80%. The most difficult Hispanic/Latino populations to retain included young, single, US-born males with less than a high school education. At visit 2, we found high rates of motivation and satisfaction. HCHS/SOL participants primarily sought to help their community and learn more about their health. High rates of retention of Hispanics/Latinos can be facilitated through the employment of bilingual/bicultural staff and the development of culturally tailored retention materials.

Keywords: Hispanics/Latinos; cohort studies; follow-up; longitudinal population-based studies; recruitment; retention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / organization & administration*
  • Cultural Competency
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Mental Health / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Patient Dropouts / ethnology*
  • Patient Satisfaction / ethnology*
  • Peer Review, Research
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Public Health
  • Research Subjects / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult