Culturally Competent Informed-Consent Process to Evaluate a Social Policy for Older Persons with Low Literacy

Published in: The Mexican Case, v. 6, no. 3, July/Sep. 2016, p. 1-11

Posted on RAND.org on September 22, 2016

by Emma Aguila, Beverly A. Weidmer, Alfonso Rivera Illingworth, Homero Martinez

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The informed-consent process seeks to provide complete information to participants about a research project and to protect personal information they may disclose. In this article, we present an informed-consent process that we piloted and improved to obtain consent from older adults in Yucatan, Mexico. Respondents had limited fluency in Spanish, spoke the local Mayan language, and had some physical limitations due to their age. We describe how we adapted the informed-consent process to comply with U.S. and Mexican regulations, while simplifying the forms and providing them in Spanish and Mayan. We present the challenges and lessons learned when dealing with low-literacy older populations, some with diminished autonomy, in a bilingual context and a binational approach to the legal framework.

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