A systematic review of recruitment for older Chinese immigrants into clinical trials

Wen Wen Li, Yuaner Wu, Angela Chia Chen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The purpose of this systematic review was to identify barriers and discuss strategies for recruitment of older Chinese immigrants into clinical research studies. A review was conducted using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). PubMed, WEB of Science, CINAHL Plus, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for articles published between 2001 and 2014. Empirical studies with Chinese immigrants aged 60 years or older were identified and analyzed. Numerical analysis, such as calculation of response rates as indexes for recruitment outcomes, was conducted. Content analyses for recruitment barriers were abstracted. Thirteen studies of 4,753 subjects were analyzed. Response rates ranged from 39% to 99%. Recruitment barriers included age (i.e., 60-70 years old), low health literacy, longer length of stay (LOS) in the United States, limited English speaking ability, low acculturation, time constraints, inadequate transportation, social stigma about diseases, and mistrust of researchers. Recruitment can be facilitated by overcoming the aforementioned barriers, which included the following strategies: 1) using convenience sampling methods, particularly personal referral; 2) using special techniques to recruit a younger subgroup of Chinese elders, such as doing outreach on holidays or weekends; 3) communicating effectively using participants’ native language; 4) exercising cultural competency; 5) establishing relationships of trust with participants and community leaders; 6) answering misconceptions about clinical trials; 7) providing incentives for participation; and 8) proper selection of research and interview locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalAsian Pacific Island Nursing Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Chinese
  • Culturally sensitive care
  • Elderly
  • Health disparities
  • Health promotion
  • Recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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