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Research practices to address health equity

The authors of our current featured article provide exemplars from a study exploring African American participation in research to demonstrate the use of a combined framework for analysis that examines the interactions of environment, culture, biology and history to understand the complex problems of health inequity.  The article, titled “Uniting Postcolonial, Discourse, and Linguistic Theory to Explore Participation of African Americans in Cancer Research as an Effect of Social and Historical Race Relationships” is authored by Darryl Somayaji, PhD, RN, CNS, CCRC and Kristin Gates Cloyes, PhD, RN.  They present a compelling discussion of the need to better understand the experience of African Americans as research participants, and to use this understanding to change the social and political realities of the research environment, research practices, and the teaching of research methods. Dr Somayaji shared the following account of how this work evolved:

Kristin and I are honored that our article was selected to be featured for the current issue of ANS. I was fortunate to be a doctoral student of Dr. Kristin Gates Cloyes at the University of Utah, School of Nursing. Although our clinical backgrounds and expertise are different (Kristin’s in mental health; mine in cancer and cancer research), we share a

Dr. Somayaji (left) and Dr. Cloyes

Dr. Somayaji (left) and Dr. Cloyes

common history of interest in social justice and health equity. Kristin’s knowledge and expertise in critical research was instrumental in opening my eyes to new ways of thinking about research theory and how different approaches to research can translate to practice. The article “Uniting Postcolonial, Discourse, and Linguistic Theory to Explore Participation of African Americans in Cancer Research as an Effect of Social and Historical Race Relations” is from my dissertation work on exploring African American participation in research. Our hope is that this article will illuminate the complexity of participation in cancer research, and the importance of understanding how history, relationships, and language are closely tied to research subject identity.

The article will be available at no charge while it is featured on the ANS web site!  I invite you to read this important and thought-provoking article while it is featured, and contribute your responses and thoughts on this topic by commenting here.  This is a topic that calls for ongoing and lively discussion, and we welcome the opportunity to engage using this blog!

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