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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Research methods and resources

NIH Rural Health Seminar: Structural-Level Determinants of Rural Health Disparities
Recording of a seminar that examines structural-level determinants of rural health disparities, including sociocultural and economic determinants, physical environmental determinants, and research, evaluation, measurement, and policy methods and implications.
Additional links: Seminar Agenda, Speaker Biographies
Date: 11/2021
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organizations: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health
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Enhancing Cancer Care of Rural Dwellers Through Telehealth and Engagement (ENCORE): A Protocol to Evaluate Effectiveness of a Multi-Level Telehealth-Based Intervention to Improve Rural Cancer Care Delivery
Describes a proposed study of telehealth-based cancer interventions at both the provider and patient levels in order to identify barriers and facilitators for the intervention. Outlines the study's protocols, methods, and contributions to technology-enabled and team-based delivery models to support cancer care for rural and underserved populations.
Author(s): Tuya Pal, Pamela C. Hull, Tatsuki Koyama, et al.
Citation: BMC Cancer, 21, 1262
Date: 11/2021
Type: Document
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Policies for Reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality and Enhancing Equity in Maternal Health: A Review of the Evidence
Examines maternal health in relation to social determinants of health (SDOH), addressing disparities for Black, rural, veteran, and incarcerated mothers. Highlights environmental and healthcare issues, as well as strategies to improve maternal health outcomes through workforce initiatives, data collection, and policy changes.
Author(s): Jodie G. Katon, Daniel A. Enquobahrie, Kate Jacobsen, Laurie Zephyrin
Date: 11/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Commonwealth Fund
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Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-June 2021
Provides data on households that rely on wireless telephones rather than landlines. Includes data on the percent of adults who live in wireless-only households and have their own wireless telephone, as well as data on phoneless adults. Provides data for nonmetropolitan compared to metropolitan areas. Discuses the need for surveys to include adequate representation of wireless-only households. Includes a section on the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on data collection and adjustments made to the survey to address the issue.
Additional links: Past Reports
Author(s): Stephen J. Blumberg, Julian V. Luke
Date: 11/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
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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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Human Services Programs in Rural Contexts: Mixed Methods Analysis, Integration, and Triangulation Plan
Analysis plan outlining the research design and methodology of a study of human services delivery in rural areas funded by the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). Covers stakeholder engagement, research questions and qualitative data collection, data analysis, and integration of findings.
Author(s): Dallas J. Elgin, Kelly McAleer, James Murdoch, et al.
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: 2M Research, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Urban Institute
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Development of a Culturally Anchored Qualitative Approach to Conduct and Analyze Focus Group Narratives Collected in Diné (Navajo) Communities to Understand the Impacts of the Gold King Mine Spill of 2015
Presents an overview of a focus group study of the impacts of the Gold King Mine Spill of 2015 on communities in the Navajo Nation in partnership with community members. Discusses the process of developing the partnership between university, tribal college, and Navajo Nation representatives, developing the focus group methodology, and conducting the focus groups, highlighting the cultural practices and leadership of the Navajo Nation.
Author(s): Nicolette I. Teufel-Shone, Carmenlita Chief, Jennifer R. Richards, et al.
Citation: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(17), 9402
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
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Inequities in the Geographic Accessibility of COVID-19 Biomedical Therapeutic Trials in the United States
Research report examining geographic proximity to COVID-19 biomedical therapeutic trial sites, breaking down U.S. clinical trial data by rural/urban location, age, and race/ethnicity. Charts depict drive times to trial sites for each demographic group, comparing rural and urban populations.
Author(s): Rohan Khazanchi, Samuel D. Powers, Elizabeth T. Rogawski McQuade, Kathleen A. McManus
Citation: Journal of General Internal Medicine
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
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Engaging Rural Communities in Cancer Prevention and Control Research: Development and Preliminary Insights from a Community-Based Research Registry
Discusses the establishment of the Virginia Living Well (VALW) registry in 2018 and the methodology involved to include rural and underrepresented populations in cancer research through community outreach. Includes county-level maps of cancer data in Virginia as well as demographic data on VALW participants broken down by employment, income, insurance status, cancer screening frequency, race, rural versus urban, and more.
Author(s): Maria D. Thomson, April R. Williams, Arnethea L. Sutton, et al.
Citation: Cancer Medicine, 10, 7726–7734
Date: 07/2021
Type: Document
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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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