A pragmatic randomized trial of home-based testing for COVID-19 in rural Native American and Latino communities: Protocol for the "Protecting our Communities" study

Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 Aug;119:106820. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2022.106820. Epub 2022 Jun 9.


Background: Home-based testing for COVID-19 has potential to reduce existing health care disparities among underserved populations in the United States. However, implementation of home-based tests in these communities may face significant barriers. This study evaluates the acceptability, feasibility, and success of home-based testing and the potential added benefit of active support from trusted community health workers for Native Americans and Hispanic/Latino adults living in rural Montana and Washington states.

Methods/design: The academic-community research team designed the trial to be responsive to community needs for understanding barriers and supports to home-based COVID-19 testing. The "Protecting Our Community" study is a two-arm pragmatic randomized controlled trial in which a total of 400 participants are randomized to active or passive arms. Participants of both study arms receive a commercially available home collection COVID-19 test kit, which is completed by mailing a self-collected nasal swab to a central laboratory. The primary study outcome is return of the kit to the central lab within 14 days. The cultural, social, behavioral, and economic barriers to home-based COVID-19 testing are also assessed by qualitative research methods. A survey and semi-structured interviews are conducted after the trial to evaluate perceptions and experience of home-based testing.

Discussion: Implementing home-based testing in underserved populations, including among Native American and Hispanic/Latino communities, may require additional support to be successful. The Protecting Our Community trial examines the effect of trusted community health workers on use of home-based testing, which may be adaptable for community-driven models of home-based testing in other underserved populations.

Keywords: COVID-19; Community health worker; Home-based testing; Latino; Native American; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19*
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States