Undergraduate Research


Aims: To identify barriers and facilitators to recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations into health research and propose evidence-based strategies to attenuate the barriers and foster the facilitators. Background: Health promotion research is designed to identify sustainable strategies that enable people to live a healthier lifestyle. To identify strategies that are effective for a diverse group of people, research must include a diverse sample that is representative of the population. Researchers frequently struggle with recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations in healthcare research, yet without adequate representation, identification of effective health promotion strategies is lacking. Methods: PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO databases were searched to identify literature regarding recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations into health-related research. Results: A total of 13 quantitative and qualitative articles were reviewed. The primary barriers to recruitment and retention included mistrust of researchers, lack of communication, and inadequate representation of the underrepresented population among the research team. Facilitators included development of community partnerships, benefits for self and community, and involvement in planning of the research. Conclusions: Evidence-based strategies that address barriers and facilitators to underrepresented populations’ participation in health research should be addressed to promote recruitment and retention. Relevance to clinical practice: The findings guide the development of strategies as researchers plan health promotion and disease prevention interventions for underrepresented populations.



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