Factors affecting the recruitment of Hispanic/Latinx American older adults in clinical trials in the United States: A scoping review

OBJECTIVE: Participation of Hispanic/Latinx American older adults (HLAOA) in clinical trials is fundamental to health equity in aging research. However, information on strategies for the successful recruitment of this population in clinical trials is limited.
DESIGN: This scoping review aims to identify hindering and facilitating factors that impact the recruitment of HLAOA in clinical trials in the United States.
METHODS: Two databases (PubMed, EMBASE) were searched for original research articles from inception until March 2022 reporting on factors that engaged HLAoa (≥65) in clinical trials. One thousand and thirteen studies were scrutinized to identify 31 eligible articles.
RESULTS: Most articles were from cancer clinical trials (14 studies). Hindering factors that impacted the recruitment of HLAoa in clinical trials were related to (i) study design and logistics challenges, (ii) challenges imposed by social determinants of health, (iii) communication barriers, and (iv) patients’ mistrust, and (v) family issues. Facilitating factors include (i) effective modes of outreach, (ii) strategic clinical trial design, (iii) incorporating culturally-respectful approaches that are tailored to the participants’ sociocultural background, and (iv) bridging language barriers.
CONCLUSIONS: Successful recruitment of HLAOA into clinical trials requires identifying the study question, co-designing the trial design, implementation, and evaluation in respectful collaboration with the Hispanic/Latinx community with careful attention to their needs and minimizing the study burden on this vulnerable population. Factors identified here may guide researchers to better understand the needs of HLAOA and successfully recruit them into clinical trials, leading to more equitable research that increases their representation in clinical research.