Community outreach; Research subject recruitment; Hispanic Americans; Rural Population; Women


Background: The purpose of this paper is to report: 1) strategies used to engage Hispanic women and their families in a longitudinal birth cohort study, and 2) comparisons of Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups that received those strategies. This paper augments the current literature by reporting methods and results specific to a subpopulation of Hispanic women, that of self-identified Mexican women. Comparisons between Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups that received those strategies will build the evidence base that supports effective outreach and engagement strategies.

Methods: Cultural responsiveness theory was used to structure outreach and engagement, including: 1) assembling a culturally competent team; 2) partnering with community organizations; and 3) creating a personalized marketing and media campaign. For the purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of the outreach and engagement strategies, respondents were asked two questions about outreach and engagement efforts during a screening interview.

Results: Hispanic women were proportionally represented in the sample. Just over 43% of the women who completed the pregnancy screening instrument were Hispanic. This rate is similar to the percentage of age-eligible Hispanic women living in the recruitment area. Over half (52%) of the consented women were Hispanic. Overall, 63% of the respondents (n=1273) reported having heard about the study during the screening interview. Among Hispanic respondents (n=871), a little over half (52%, n=453) responded affirmatively. Among non-Hispanic respondents (n=1135), most (72%, n=813) had heard of the NCS.

The top three ways that both Hispanic and Non-Hispanic respondents heard about the NCS were through the advance letter, household enumeration, and radio. Both groups reported hearing about the NCS through “Community partners/outreach events” with similar frequency.

Discussion: Demographic changes in America speak to the importance of developing outreach and engagement plans tailored to Hispanic populations. Cultural responsiveness theory provided a multi-faceted framework that was used to engage Hispanic families in a study of children’s health and their environment.