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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Research methods and resources

Which Definition of Rurality Should I Use?: The Relative Performance of 8 Federal Rural Definitions in Identifying Rural-Urban Disparities
Study comparing 8 definitions of rural used by the federal government in order to understand how often the same areas were identified as rural and to measure rural-urban disparities related to socioeconomic status, demographics, healthcare access, and health outcomes. Analyzes 20210 census tract-level spatial data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2014-2019 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) population estimates, the Provider of Services file, and the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System files from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Author(s): Julianna C. Long, Paul L. Delamater, George M. Holmes
Citation: Medical Care, 59, S413-S419
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
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NIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities
Fact sheets and other resources to help communities most impacted by COVID-19 and encourage involvement in addressing COVID-19 disparities. Covers basic information on COVID-19, vaccination, clinical trials, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in research.
Date: 08/2021
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: National Institutes of Health
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Identifying Disparities in Health Outcomes and Mortality for American Indian and Alaska Native Populations Using Tribally Disaggregated Vital Statistics and Health Survey Data
Study examining disaggregated health surveillance and mortality data for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations, discussing the challenges of data collection related to tribal-national enrollment and racial identification. Addresses health disparities and severe health risks among AI/AN populations and the need for collaboration with tribal nations to obtain accurate data.
Author(s): Desi Small-Rodriguez, Randall Akee
Citation: American Journal of Public Health, 111(S2), S126-132
Date: 07/2021
Type: Document
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Federal Agencies' Investment in Rural Cancer Control Fosters Partnerships between Researchers and Rural Communities
Highlights how researchers and rural communities are working together to address rural cancer prevention and control, with support from federal funding. Discusses projects that address health behaviors, cancer screening, vaccination, and rural participation in clinical trials.
Author(s): Mary Charlton, Whitney Zahnd, Jennifer Patterson, Kimberly Merchant
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 07/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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A Design and Dissemination Studio: Engaging Stakeholders in Research on Rural Health Professions Education and Training
Video explaining a community-engaged approach to the design and implementation of research in rural health professions education, adapted from a process originally designed to engage community members in cancer research. Describes studio objectives and structure of the process.
Author(s): Randall Longenecker
Date: 06/2021
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Rural PREP
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Exploring the Role of Critical Health Literacy in Addressing the Social Determinants of Health
Brief reporting on a workshop held by the Roundtable on Health Literacy that explored Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) and health literacy to serve vulnerable communities. Discusses SDOH models, research methods to engage communities, and critical health literacy. Project examples include work with rural Native American communities.
Author(s): Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice
Date: 06/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Health and Medicine Division (HMD), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Indicators of Rurality: How Should We Define "Rural" and "Urban" Communities?
Provides an overview of six federal datasets and how each is used to classify urban and rural communities. Offers recommendations for how to use each indicator of rurality.
Date: 05/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Institute for People Place and Possibility
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A Tribal Citizen Science Project Benefits Drinking Water Quality and Builds Local Capacity
Discusses a participatory project to improve drinking water quality in rural Maine, including a partnership between researchers and the Passamaquoddy Tribal government. Describes efforts to build trust and conduct community-engaged research.
Citation: Partnerships for Environmental Public Health Newsletter, 12(5)
Date: 05/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
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State Health Disparities Research in Rural America: Gaps and Future Directions in an Era of COVID-19
Discusses research methods and partnerships to address rural health disparities. Highlights recommendations from a national workshop on rural health disparities, including community participation in rural health research, innovative research design, interventions that are relevant to rural challenges, and cultural competence in rural research.
Author(s): Lisa Cacari Stone, Mary C. Roary, Augusto Diana, Patricia A. Grady
Citation: The Journal of Rural Health, 37(3), 460-466
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
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Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan 2021–2025
Planning document presenting goals to address health disparities through scientific research, activities that sustain research, and outreach efforts. Describes health disparity populations, including racial and ethnic minority, rural, less privileged socioeconomic status (SES), and sexual and gender minorities (SGM) populations. Outlines plans to implement research projects and activities, and discusses Leap Forward priority areas that will advance research methods in minority health and health disparities.
Date: 03/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institutes of Health
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