Specialized Methods for Diverse Populations

To understand and improve health disparities requires adapting standard research methods to be appropriate for a variety of racial/ethnic/cultural population groups.  Essentially, every step in the research process requires “augmented” methods tailored to the needs of the diverse population of interest.  These steps include, e.g., developing a conceptual framework that reflects perspectives of diverse groups, selecting measures that are appropriate for the population group of interest, and tailoring recruitment strategies.  The following publication summarizes the need for augmented methods and notes how qualitative strategies can contribute to adapting the research strategies.

Citation: Nápoles-Springer AM, Stewart AL. Overview of qualitative methods in research with diverse populations: making research reflect the population, Medical Care, 2006;44(Suppl 3):S5-S9. PMID: 17060835

Specific Methodological Resources

In these sections we provide resources addressing the following methodological issues facing health disparities researchers.

Methods for Translating/Adapting Interventions for Diverse Populations: Transcreation

  • Guidelines (step-by-step methods) for translating interventions to reduce health disparities
  • Models of translation and examples of the process (annotated bibliography)

Study Design Methods in Health Disparities Research

  • Conducting feasibility and acceptability pilot studies 
  • Argument against adjusting p-value for multiple testing in RCTs
  • Control group design
  • Power analysis

Methods of Recruitment

Annotated bibliographies on: 

  • CADC recruitment research (determinants, innovative strategies, feasibility)
  • Methods of building health registries (structured reviews)
  • Methods of using social media (structured reviews)

Statistical Methods in Health Disparities Research

Introductory and advanced level presentations on:

  • Testing mediators and moderators of outcomes
  • Methods of analyzing longitudinal data
  • Factor analysis methods
  • Additional statistical issues

Selecting Appropriate Measures for a Particular Study

  • Locating measures - links to variety of sources of existing measures
  • Slide presentations on selecting measures
  • Structured template for reviewing measures for appropriateness
  • Syllabus, slides, and readings for a course “Measurement in Clinical Research”

Modifying and Translating Measures for Diverse Populations

  • ​​​​​​Methods of translating measures (annotated bibliography)
  • Framework of issues and methods for modifying measures (publication)
  • Modifying measures of perceived discrimination – issue (publication)

Using Cognitive Interviews to Pretest Measures in Diverse Populations

  • Rationale for pretesting measures
  • Cognitive interviews (slide set, annotated bibliography, sample cognitive interview, publication)