Diversity in Health Care Research:
Strategies for Multisite, Multidisciplinary, and Multicultural Projects
Joellen W. Hawkins and Lois A. Haggerty (Springer
The human genome has been completed. We now know that, from
a biological perspective, we are almost identical, and that that race is a
social construct, not a scientific classification. Yet, incredible disparities
in health status continue to exist, many due to gender, race, ethnicity,
education, income, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation.
Since these disparities are not due to scientific classification, they may well
be due to social classification and issues such as prejudice, discrimination,
and lack of access to services.
In order to eliminate disparities and improve health status
for all, it is important to understand the complex relationships that lead to
these differences. It is, however, critically important to conduct this research
in an atmosphere that is respectful of differences, and using research designs
that are sensitive to cultural and economic issues among populations. The very
nature of this type of work demands that it be conducted by investigators with
a variety of disciplinary perspectives, in a variety of settings, and among
participants with a variety of backgrounds. Since each individual has a unique
ethnic background and a specific disciplinary lens with which she or he views
the world, the ability to be successful requires a special set of learned
knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Part I – Strategies for Implementation
Part II – Lessons Learned From Specific Research Projects
Joellen W. Hawkins and Lois A. Haggerty, professors in the
William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, have produced a masterful
work that will assist researchers to develop the skills and sensitivities
necessary for successful research. They and their contributors provide with a
broad perspective that is both enlightening and pragmatic.
Diversity in Health Care Research will help researchers anticipate and
plan for the challenges of conducting research in several sites, from gaining
entry to working with clinicians who have competing job responsibilities.
Examples of multicultural, multisite studies conducted by multidisciplinary
teams provide the reader with a wide range of projects that have successful
outcomes. The authors of these chapters provide the pragmatics that demonstrate
how the theoretical components come together in actual situations.
The book will help us to understand and appreciate differences, celebrate our
diversity, and work together to eliminate health care disparities and improve
the health of all.
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