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Rapid Assessment Procedure

An Anthropological qualitative study


What is the Purpose of the Study?

The Rochester Prevention Research Center: National Center for Deaf Health Research (RPRC:NCDHR) 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 interactive, self-reflective process to refine RPRC:NCDHR's principles and methods for maintaining an equitable partnership. Using an 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.

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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).

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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.

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Who Benefits from this Research?

  • Researchers
  • Community Members
  • Interpreters
  • Evaluators

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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 CBRP practices and is highly recommended as an approach to assessment.

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The RAP Team

Collaboration of Deaf Deaf and hearing people working together to conduct the RAP.

Nancy P. Chin, PHD, MPH, Heidi Thompson, BS, Matthew J. Starr, MPH, Elizabeth Finigan, MD, Susan Demers, MS, Carolyn Stern, MD

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Thompson H, Chin N, Starr MJ, Demers S, Finigan E, Stern C. Evaluating relationships between the research and the Deaf communities. Medical Student Research Display, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, NY; 2008 Nov 14.

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