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Culturally adapted interventions for Latinos: A meta-analysis

28 May 2015


Compared to all ethnic minority groups, the Latino population is currently the largest and fastest growing minority population in the United States, but is more likely to have less access to mental healthcare resources and use those resources at a lower rate than their non-Latino counterparts (Acevedo-Polakovich et al., 2007; Bender et al., 2007; Blanco et al., 2007; López, Barrio, Kopelwicz, & Vega, 2012). Although culturally adapted interventions have been proposed to address this need, the psychological community does not unanimously agree on the necessity of utilizing this type of treatment (Falicov, 2009). In addition, there has been limited examination of the empirical basis underlying the wide variety of culturally adapted treatments discussed in the professional literature (Griner & Smith, 2006). The current study quantitatively reviews the results of empirical studies conducted in this research area. The results of the meta-analysis suggest that culturally adapted interventions significantly improve overall health, mental health, and physical health functioning when compared to alternative treatment and treatment as usual comparison groups. However, the type of cultural adaptation to the intervention (i.e., surface, deep, or combined structure) does not appear to moderate overall health, mental health, and physical health outcomes. No additional categorical variables were found to moderate the effect size estimates for health outcomes. However, significant continuous moderators were noted at the level of overall health outcomes (i.e., mean age of both younger and older participants in mixed age groups), aggregated mental health outcomes (i.e., South American participant ethnicity), and aggregated physical health outcomes (i.e., mean age of both younger and older participants in mixed age groups and Cuban participant ethnicity).


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