Latino/Hispanic Participation in Community Nutrition Research: An Interplay of Decisional Balance, Cultural Competency, and Formative Work

Lillian Karina Diaz Rios, Karen Chapman-Novakofski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Latinos/Hispanics are among the populations at high risk of nutrition disparities. Adequate participation of this group in community nutrition research is necessary to better understand such disparities and propose sensible solutions. Objective: To identify factors influencing participation and strategies to effectively reach Latinos/Hispanics for community nutrition research. Design: In-depth interviews with experienced community nutrition researchers across the United States, conducted from February to June 2013. Participants/setting: Nine academics, including four registered dietitian nutritionists with extensive experience in community nutrition research with Latino/Hispanic groups, were interviewed in person (n=3) or via telephone/Skype (n=6). Main outcome measures: Perceived participation barriers, facilitators, and structural factors affecting Latino/Hispanic participation were explored. Successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies to reaching this group were identified. Analysis: A Grounded Theory approach was applied for inductive identification of relevant concepts and deductive interpretation of patterns and relationships among themes. Results: Formative work, cultural competency, and decisional balance emerged as the three interdependent factors influencing participation of Latinos/Hispanics in community nutrition research. Several approaches to influence participation were reported to be operationalized at the interpersonal, community and settings, and systems levels of influence. Trust, time, and tailoring were central concepts, postulated to moderate the relationship between the main themes and influence the effectiveness of recruitment tactics. Conclusions: Experienced community nutrition researchers identified actions ascribed to formative work as the bedrock of successful reach of Latinos/Hispanics. A robust formative work plan is necessary to achieving a functional level of trust, time, and tailoring tactics, which appear to critically influence participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1699
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Community nutrition
  • Hispanics
  • Latinos
  • Participation
  • Recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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