216498 Innovative Research Methods and Practices to address Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Diverse Populations in Hawai`i

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jared Lane Maeda, PhD, MPH , Division of Health Policy and Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Gabriel James Garcia, PhD, MA, MPH , Department of Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
BACKGROUND & PURPOSE: The elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities continues to remain a national priority. Despite the tremendous progress that has been made to address these disparities, we remain far from achieving this goal, as the terms “race” and “ethnicity” take on a more complex meaning with the rapid growth of minority, immigrant, and multi-racial and multi-ethnic population of our nation. Using Hawai`i as a case study, we explore research methods and public health practices that can better serve the state's diverse racial and ethnic populations.

METHODS: In building our research and practice recommendations, we conducted an inductive and selective literature review of current studies related to addressing racial and ethnic health disparities.

RESULTS: Methods such as multi-level modeling, qualitative inquiry, and a composite index development can aid in our quest to better understand the context of race and ethnicity and how it interacts with other social, cultural, environmental, and institutional factors that lead to certain health outcomes. In terms of practice, public health practitioners should develop interventions within the context of the community and focus on commonalities of community members beyond race and ethnicity that are modifiable.

CONCLUSIONS: Additional research that incorporates novel methodologies and creative evidence-based interventions are urgently needed to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. Eliminating these disparities is paramount because the prosperity of our nation very much depends on a just and more equitable society.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To identify research methods that may help to promote the understanding of the determinants of health in multi-racial and multi-ethnic populations. Describe the complexity of using race and ethnicity in health disparities research. Discuss the research and practical implications of using the proposed methods understand the health of diverse populations.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Methodology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research, consult, and teach in the area of racial and ethnic health disparities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.