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Applying rapid qualitative analysis for health equity: lessons learned using "EARS" with Latino communities

St. George S, Harkness A, Rodriguez-Diaz C, Weinstein E, Pavia V, Hamilton AB. Applying rapid qualitative analysis for health equity: lessons learned using "EARS" with Latino communities. International journal of qualitative methods. 2023 Jan 1; 22(Jan-Feb 2023):

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Qualitative research amplifies the voices of marginalized communities and thus plays a critical role in shaping our understanding of health inequities and their social determinants. Traditional qualitative approaches, such as grounded theory or thematic analysis, require extensive training and are time- and labor-intensive; as such, they may not be adequately suited to address healthy equity issues that require a swift response. Rapid qualitative analysis (RQA) is an action-oriented approach to qualitative data analysis that may be used when findings are needed to quickly inform practice. RQA capitalizes on using a team to summarize key points from qualitative data into matrices to explore relevant themes efficiently and systematically. In this paper, we provide case examples from our work applying RQA to health equity research with Latino communities to address community needs, such as responses to public health emergencies and the development of service delivery and technology interventions for infectious and chronic diseases. We draw from our collective experiences to share lessons learned and provide the following specific recommendations ("EARS") to researchers interested in applying RQA for health equity research:(1)Employ RQA to address rapidly evolving, urgent, health equity challenges; (2)Assure quality and rigor throughout the RQA process; (3)Respond to barriers and problem-solve as needed; and (4)Strengthen community relationships before, during, and after using RQA. Overall, we advocate for the use of RQA to promote health equity due to its ability to integrate the vital perspectives of marginalized communities and efficiently respond to their needs.

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