Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Develop a Bilingual Mental Health Survey for Latinos


Background: Despite rapid growth, Latino communities' mental health needs are unmet by existing services and research. Barriers may vary by geographic locations, but often include language, insurance coverage, immigration status, cultural beliefs, and lack of services.

Objectives: The aim of this research was development of a cross-sectional instrument to assess the mental health status, beliefs, and knowledge of resources among rural and urban Latinos residing in a Midwestern state.

Methods: The purpose of this article is to describe the community-based participatory research (CBPR) process of instrument development and lessons learned.

Results: A culturally relevant, 100-item bilingual survey instrument was developed by community and academic partners.

Lessons Learned: Community-based participatory research methods are salient for sensitive health topics and varied research objectives, including instrument development. To ensure cultural and social relevance of research, community participation is crucial at all stages of research, including developing the research question and instrument.