Qualitative Research: Health and Wellbeing Panel


 March 4, 2022 | 2:00 PM - 2:55 PM | Registration

"Reflections and Lessons for Qualitative Research Collaborations Across Language and Culture," Patricia Rodriguez Espinosa, Stanford Medicine

"American Voices Project," Charles Varner, Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

Moderated by Alesia Montgomery, Stanford Libraries

Qualitative researchers increasingly work with large datasets in team projects that span universities. These projects pose methodological, logistical, technological, and ethical challenges.To get insights about ways of addressing these challenges, this panel brings together researchers from two innovative health and wellbeing research projects that use qualitative and mixed methods approaches: Charles Varner with the Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI) will discuss CPI's American Voices Project.  Dr. Patricia Rodriguez Espinosa with the Stanford School of Medicine will discuss a research collaboration between Stanford and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.   


"Reflections and Lessons for Qualitative Research Collaborations Across Language and Culture," Patricia Rodriguez Espinosa, Stanford Medicine

Qualitative scholars are increasingly engaged in global research where members of the research team are from different countries and cultures and have different primary languages. However, in-depth descriptions of how to rigorously work as a transnational team are scarce. Using a collaboration between Stanford and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand as a case example, the following presentation will showcase nuances and challenges experienced in this research collaboration, and the strategies employed to optimize the validity and reliability of the study findings. While we started our data analysis following a more typical qualitative analysis path, shortcomings of this approach brought us to explore an alternative, involving data review and coding by transnational coding sub-teams. This approach was better able to illuminate cultural nuances, address coding discrepancies, and bring forward discussions to enhance interpretation and validity of findings. We describe our collaborative and iterative approach, and highlight methodological implications, our coding process, and important considerations for managing team dynamics (e.g., power and hierarchy) and the partnership process and engagement over time. Moreover, we present on similar cross-cultural collaborations conducted in other countries, with the aim of understanding well-being across cultures, and highlight our use of NVivo and unique post-coding analysis techniques.

"American Voices Project," Charles Varner, Associate Director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and inequality 

The American Voices Project (AVP) relies on immersive interviews to deliver a comprehensive portrait of life across the country. The interview protocol blends qualitative, survey, administrative, and experimental approaches to collecting data on such topics as family, living situations, community, health, emotional well-being, living costs, and income. The AVP is based on a nationally representative sample of hundreds of communities in the United States. Within each of these sites, a representative sample of addresses is selected. In March 2020, recruitment and interviewing began to be carried out remotely (instead of face-to-face), and questions were added on the pandemic, health and health care, race and systemic racism, employment and earnings, schooling and childcare, and new types of safety net usage (including new stimulus programs)


Patricia Rodriguez Espinosa is the Associate Director of Research for the Office of Community Engagement and an instructor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine. The ultimate goal of her research is to decrease health inequities among racial/ethnic minority populations through transdisciplinary and community-engaged scholarship. Her research aims to understand factors that create and maintain health inequities and use these insights to develop novel multi-level interventions and health promotion programs to address the inequity gap and that include multi-sectoral collaborations.

Charles Varner, Associate Director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, leads the CPI’s research, training, and administrative data programs, and he is senior editor of Pathways Magazine. Author of influential tax-return studies of “millionaire migration,” Varner is a scholar of the demographic, social, and political sources of poverty and inequality.