Promoting recruitment of minority ethnic groups into research: qualitative study exploring the views of South Asian people with asthma

Laura K. Rooney, Raj S. Bhopal, Laila Halani, Mark L. Levy, Martyn R. Partridge, Gopal Netuveli, Josip Car, Chris Griffiths, John P. Atkinson, Grace Lindsay, Aziz Sheikh*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We sought to understand the barriers and facilitators to participation in research from the perspectives of South Asian people with asthma.Eight focus groups were conducted in the preferred language of participants. Sampling was purposeful to ensure inclusion of males and females from differing ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds.The forming of trusting relationships was described as pivotal to the successful recruitment of minority ethnic groups into research; personalized approaches were likely to be better received than more impersonal written approaches. Notable barriers to participation included: the stigma of being labelled with asthma; concerns surrounding participation in pharmaceutical trials; major time or travel commitments and a failure to show respect by not making information available in minority ethnic languages. Flexibility, in terms of timing, location and respecting of cultural and religious sensitivities around gender segregation, together with the offer of incentives, were highlighted as key factors to promote participation.The barriers to recruitment are largely surmountable, but these will necessitate the use of resource intensive and more personalized approaches than are commonly employed for the White European origin population. Our proposed model to enhance recruitment is likely to have transferability beyond the field of asthma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-615
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • ethnicity
  • research
  • respiratory disorders

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