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cultural responsiveness, ethnicity, gender, health intervention research, inclusion approaches



  1. Flaskerud, Jacquelyn H. RN, PhD, FAAN
  2. Nyamathi, Adeline M. RN, PhD, FAAN


Despite the National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandate to include women and diverse ethnic groups in all NIH-funded research projects, these groups are still excluded as participants in health intervention research. This exclusion has denied them access to state-of-the-art treatments and prevention strategies, making them vulnerable to increased morbidity and mortality and decreased longevity. This article compares two conceptual approaches to inclusion: cultural responsiveness and resource provision. Several issues are raised as to why women and ethnic people of color are not involved in health intervention research. For each of these issues, an appraisal is made as to whether cultural responsiveness or resource provision would more successfully address the problem. It is concluded that cultural responsiveness facilitates participation in research but is not sufficient. An equally important, if not more important, approach may be the provision of resources to empower participants to address problems of access and burden.