To understand and improve health disparities requires adapting standard research methods to be appropriate for a variety of racial/ethnic/cultural population groups that may speak a variety of languages. Essentially, every step in the research process requires “augmented” methods tailored to the needs of the diverse population of interest. These augmented 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, recruitment strategies that are culturally tailored, and interpreting study results with input from community partners. All of the methods we present below are examples of these 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)

Testing Measures for Appropriateness in Diverse Populations

Publications and annotated bibliographies

  • Qualitative methods: focus groups to develop concepts and test measures
  • Qualitative methods: cognitive interviews to pretest measures
  • Quantitative methods: examining invariance between groups

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)

    Study Design Methods in Health Disparities Research

    Statistical Methods in Health Disparities Research

    • Introductory: analyzing time series, missing data, factor analysis, mediators/moderators, power analysis (slides)
    • Advanced: comparing odds ratios, 3-level logistic models, growth model applications (slides)