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Asian Americans are less willing than other racial groups to participate in health research

  • Yiyang Liu (a1), Amy Elliott (a1), Hal Strelnick (a2), Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola (a3) and Linda B. Cottler (a1)...



Asian Americans constitute 5% of the U.S. population. Their willingness to participate in research is important to examine because it influences participation rates and the representativeness of study results.


A total of 17,339 community members participated from six diverse Clinical and Translational Award (CTSA) sites. Community members were asked about their willingness to volunteer for eight different types of health research, their expectation of monetary compensation for research participation, their trust in research and researchers, their preferred language to receive health information, and their socio-demographic background. We examined Asian Americans’ willingness to participate in various types of health research studies and compared their perceptions with other racial/ethnic groups (i.e., Asian n = 485; African-American n = 9516; Hispanic/Latino n = 1889; Caucasian n = 4760; and other minority n = 689).


Compared to all other racial/ethnic groups, Asian Americans were less willing to participate in all eight types of health research. However, Asian Americans reported a lower amount of fair compensation for research participation than African-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos but were as likely to trust researchers as all other racial/ethnic groups.


Asian Americans are less willing to participate in health research than other racial/ethnic groups, and this difference is not due to dissatisfaction with research compensation or lower trust in researchers. Lack of trust in research and language barriers should be addressed to improve representativeness and generalizability of all populations in research.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Y. Liu, MPH Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health and Health Professions & College of Medicine, University of Florida, 2004 Mowry Road, Gainesville 32610-0231, Florida, USA. Email:


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