Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author's final published version in International Journal for Equity in Health, Volume 23, Issue 1, 2024, Article number 61.

The published version is available at

Copyright © The Author(s) 2024


PURPOSE: Addressing obstacles such as logistical complexities, social stigma, and the impact of historical traumas is essential for the successful inclusion of underrepresented groups in health research.

METHODS: This article reviews engagement and interview techniques used to ethically engage recently settled Afghan refugees in Oklahoma and rural Mexican-born women in Illinois in research. The paper concludes with a reflective discussion on the challenges and lessons learned.

RESULTS: Creative strategies to engage hard-to-reach populations in research included considering the participants' socioeconomic and cultural contexts in their interactions and developing community partnerships to establish trust and obtain reliable data. Other engagement strategies were communicating in the participants' preferred language, providing assistance with reading and responding to study questions for those with low literacy, employing research staff from the population of interest, and recruiting in specific locations where the populations of interest live.

CONCLUSIONS: Community engagement is essential at all stages of research for building trust in hard-to-reach populations, achieving inclusivity in health research, and ensuring that interventions are culturally sensitive and effective.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

PubMed ID