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 on September 22, 2016

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

Read More

Access further information on this document at The Mexican Case

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.