RAP (Rapid Assessment Procedure - an anthropological qualitative study)
Communicating Research Culture:
A Process Evaluation at the National Center for Deaf Health Research
Nancy P. Chin, PHD, MPH (1), Heidi Thompson, BS (1), Matthew J. Starr, MPH (1), Elizabeth Finigan, MD (2), Susan Demers, MS (3), Carolyn Stern, MD (4)
1.University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Community & Preventive Medicine, Rochester, NY
2. Veteran's Administration Medical Center, Rochester, NY
3. Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Boston, MA
4. DeafDOC.org, Rochester, NY
What is the Purpose of this Study?
- National Center for Deaf Health Research is committed to a collaborative participatory process that includes the community of Deaf American Sign Language users in all phases of research studies.
- This evaluation study is part of an iterative, self-reflective process to refine our principles and methods for maintaining an equitable partnership.
- Using a evaluation process grounded in anthropological approaches provided a way to conduct the study with community members as equal partners, to support mutual learning, and increase research capacity in the community.
What is the Problem?
- All cross-cultural collaborations are at risk for problems in communication.
- The challenges of creating a truly participatory process are complicated by the need to work in both in English and in the language of the community participants, American Sign Language (ASL).
What are the Findings?
- Communication problems went beyond problems of interpreting between ASL and English to include problems in translating research culture to community culture and visa versa.
- Research has a culture with its own specialized language, rituals, and systems of hierarchy that can impede communication with community partners.
- The anthropological approach to evaluation created joint team of academics and community members that modeled CBPR principles.
Who Should Care Most?
- Community Members
Recommendations for Action
- Periodic evaluations of team dynamics are valuable in making mid-course corrections in team interactions and refining principles and methods for collaboration.
- An anthropological approach to evaluation gave the study the additional benefit of modeling CBPR practices and is highly recommended as an approach to assessment.
Last Updated: 5/24/2011