2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/158044
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Researchers' Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity Variables
Abstract:
Researchers' Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity Variables
Conference Sponsor:Western Institute of Nursing
Conference Year:2006
Author:Drevdahl, Denise, RN, PhD
P.I. Institution Name:University of Washington, Tacoma
Title:Associate Professor
Contact Address:Nursing Program, Box 358421, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA, 98402-3100, USA
Contact Telephone:253-692-5671
Purpose/Aim: Race and/or ethnicity variables are commonly collected in health research. These characteristics are used to study associations across a number of factors, including health status, health care access, and health behaviors and beliefs. However, categorizing research participants according to race and ethnicity often is a perplexing process. Discussion continues regarding the validity of race and ethnicity as research variables and the role these concepts should play in scientific inquiry. The purpose of this study was to examine researchers' perceptions about the use of race and/or ethnicity variables. Rationale/Background: A vast array of literature documents differences among racial and ethnic groups in terms of morbidity and mortality. Based on these findings, a series of federal initiatives have been launched to address these health disparities. Collecting reliable, valid, and relevant race and ethnicity data with which to document the disparities is challenging, as methodologies used to classify individuals according to some racial/ethnic schema are varied and complex. Research literature reviews reveal that race and/or ethnicity variables in research reports are rarely defined, and descriptions of how the race or ethnicity identities of research subjects are determined are not explained. To date, there is little study of researchers' beliefs about using these variables. Methods: Using a snowball technique, 20 primary investigators conducing research involving human subjects were interviewed about the collection of race and/or ethnicity variables in their studies. Sample questions included: What is the purpose for collecting racial and/or ethnic data? How do you make decisions about collecting data on these variables in your study? What methods do you use to collect the data? How is the variable defined? Interviews were tape-recorded and subsequently transcribed. Transcripts were then analyzed through coding of data, and common themes were identified.
Results: Informants were from three research-intensive facilities, had doctoral degrees from a variety of disciplines (e.g., Social Welfare, Nursing, Epidemiology, Psychology, Human Genetics, Sociology; 12 with terminal degrees from the social sciences and 8 from the biological sciences), and had conducted research for a mean of 17 years. When interviewed, all informants either had completed data collection within 12 months of the interview or were engaged in data collection. Analysis of the transcribed interviews revealed wide variance in reasons for collecting race and/or ethnicity data, methods used to collect the data, and definitions of the variables. The majority of participants in this study stated that they collect data on these variables primarily because of funding agency requirements; many used a forced choice, check-off list to collect the information. All interviewees struggled with defining race and ethnicity, and with articulating a difference between the two concepts. Implications: Findings point to the need for greater understanding of the meaning of race and ethnicity as research variables, particularly as researchers attempt to address health disparities. Funding support: This study was funded through a University of Washington, Tacoma Founders' Endowment Grant.
Repository Posting Date:
26-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
17-Oct-2011
Sponsors:
Western Institute of Nursing

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleResearchers' Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity Variablesen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/158044-
dc.description.abstract<table><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-title">Researchers' Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity Variables</td></tr><tr class="item-sponsor"><td class="label">Conference Sponsor:</td><td class="value">Western Institute of Nursing</td></tr><tr class="item-year"><td class="label">Conference Year:</td><td class="value">2006</td></tr><tr class="item-author"><td class="label">Author:</td><td class="value">Drevdahl, Denise, RN, PhD</td></tr><tr class="item-institute"><td class="label">P.I. Institution Name:</td><td class="value">University of Washington, Tacoma</td></tr><tr class="item-author-title"><td class="label">Title:</td><td class="value">Associate Professor</td></tr><tr class="item-address"><td class="label">Contact Address:</td><td class="value">Nursing Program, Box 358421, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA, 98402-3100, USA</td></tr><tr class="item-phone"><td class="label">Contact Telephone:</td><td class="value">253-692-5671</td></tr><tr class="item-email"><td class="label">Email:</td><td class="value">drevdahl@u.washington.edu</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-abstract">Purpose/Aim: Race and/or ethnicity variables are commonly collected in health research. These characteristics are used to study associations across a number of factors, including health status, health care access, and health behaviors and beliefs. However, categorizing research participants according to race and ethnicity often is a perplexing process. Discussion continues regarding the validity of race and ethnicity as research variables and the role these concepts should play in scientific inquiry. The purpose of this study was to examine researchers' perceptions about the use of race and/or ethnicity variables. Rationale/Background: A vast array of literature documents differences among racial and ethnic groups in terms of morbidity and mortality. Based on these findings, a series of federal initiatives have been launched to address these health disparities. Collecting reliable, valid, and relevant race and ethnicity data with which to document the disparities is challenging, as methodologies used to classify individuals according to some racial/ethnic schema are varied and complex. Research literature reviews reveal that race and/or ethnicity variables in research reports are rarely defined, and descriptions of how the race or ethnicity identities of research subjects are determined are not explained. To date, there is little study of researchers' beliefs about using these variables. Methods: Using a snowball technique, 20 primary investigators conducing research involving human subjects were interviewed about the collection of race and/or ethnicity variables in their studies. Sample questions included: What is the purpose for collecting racial and/or ethnic data? How do you make decisions about collecting data on these variables in your study? What methods do you use to collect the data? How is the variable defined? Interviews were tape-recorded and subsequently transcribed. Transcripts were then analyzed through coding of data, and common themes were identified.<br/>Results: Informants were from three research-intensive facilities, had doctoral degrees from a variety of disciplines (e.g., Social Welfare, Nursing, Epidemiology, Psychology, Human Genetics, Sociology; 12 with terminal degrees from the social sciences and 8 from the biological sciences), and had conducted research for a mean of 17 years. When interviewed, all informants either had completed data collection within 12 months of the interview or were engaged in data collection. Analysis of the transcribed interviews revealed wide variance in reasons for collecting race and/or ethnicity data, methods used to collect the data, and definitions of the variables. The majority of participants in this study stated that they collect data on these variables primarily because of funding agency requirements; many used a forced choice, check-off list to collect the information. All interviewees struggled with defining race and ethnicity, and with articulating a difference between the two concepts. Implications: Findings point to the need for greater understanding of the meaning of race and ethnicity as research variables, particularly as researchers attempt to address health disparities. Funding support: This study was funded through a University of Washington, Tacoma Founders' Endowment Grant.</td></tr></table>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-26T20:27:14Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-17en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-26T20:27:14Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipWestern Institute of Nursingen_GB
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