This is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, a time dedicated by the U.S. government to recognize the contributions by Hispanic Americans to the quality of life in the U.S. and to celebrate the group's heritage and culture. It is a great time to acknowledge the Hispanic clinical trials professionals who are dedicated to clinical research, many of whom are particularly focused on educating their peers as well as the Hispanic community - at- large about clinical trials. And we would of course be remiss if we did not applaud Hispanic Americans who have participated in clinical trials - for their enormous contribution to medical and scientific progress in this country.
The Hispanic American population, which is growing more rapidly than any other minority group, is itself a diverse group of people. While the common denominator may be having ancestry with a connection to the Spanish language or to the culture of a Spanish-speaking country, the values, needs, beliefs, customs and sensitivities vary greatly between the many subgroups and individual members of the subgroups. Not only do Hispanics descend from a large number of countries, but like members of any ethnic group, their needs and preferences vary according to their level of assimilation, their education, their religion, their gender, their age, their SES, their family customs and their overall personal experience. Thus, needless to say, familiarity with trials and indeed comfort with and trust in the healthcare system will vary greatly from person to person. Regarding clinical trials, when developing accrual strategies, it is essential to bear in mind the diversity within the Hispanic community and to plan to get to know as well as possible the individual patients, their families and their communities before introducing participation in a clinical trial.
Let us hear from you about Hispanic colleagues that you would like to honor! For more information on participation of Hispanic individuals in clinical trials, search for Hispanic, Latino, minorities and underserved in the AccrualNet searchbox.