The Importance of Evaluating Health Disparities Research

Bruce A. Dye*, Deborah G. Duran, David M. Murray, John W. Creswell, Patrick Richard, Tilda Farhat, Nancy Breen, Michael M. Engelgau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Health disparity populations are socially disadvantaged, and the multiple levels of discrimination they often experience mean that their characteristics and attributes differ from those of the mainstream. Programs and policies targeted at reducing health disparities or improving minority health must consider these differences. Despite the importance of evaluating health disparities research to produce high-quality data that can guide decision-making, it is not yet a customary practice. Although health disparities evaluations incorporate the same scientific methods as all evaluations, they have unique components such as population characteristics, sociocultural context, and the lack of health disparity common indicators and metrics that must be considered in every phase of the research. This article describes evaluation strategies grouped into 3 components: formative (needs assessments and process), design and methodology (multilevel designs used in real-world settings), and summative (outcomes, impacts, and cost). Each section will describe the standards for each component, discuss the unique health disparity aspects, and provide strategies from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Metrics and Measures Visioning Workshop (April 2016) to advance the evaluation of health disparities research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S34-S40
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


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