Table 4

The Structural and Intercultural Competence for Epidemiological Studies guidelines

DomainsGuide questions
Research team building and research questions1. Has the research team identified its ethnic, cultural, and social composition and compared it with that of the study population? Has the research team taken into account the potential impact that these differences or similarities may have on the research?
2. Does the research team have any tools or means to facilitate reflexivity, for example, fieldnotes or regular meetings for this purpose?
3. Does the research team consider the lay views on the topics of study?
4. Has the research team assessed whether the use of concepts such as race, ethnicity or culture (among others) in the study is adequate?
5. Have the research team’s training needs in intercultural and structural competence been assessed?
6. Does the research team have cultural and social knowledge of the populations under study, including ethnic minorities and marginalised groups and lay perspectives on the topics of study?
7. Has the research team considered the medical history of the country in which the research is taking place and the legacy that medical research has on ethnic minorities/hidden populations?
8. Has the research team established an advisory board which includes representatives of different cultural and/or ethnic groups, including lay participants representing civil society and/or minority collectives?
Study design, recruitment, data collection and data analysis9. Is the research team aware of cultural and social biases from previous research done on a similar topic/population that they are using as a research background?
10. Has the research team considered social and cultural sources of potential bias or imprecision? For example, if the research hypothesis, the objectives of the study, the theoretical–conceptual framework, or the sample gives rise to possible sensitive cultural issues or ethnocentric statements?
11. Has the association of missing data with sociocultural characteristics of populations under study been considered?
12. Are the informed consent and the questionnaires, scales, and instruments understandable to the participants and/or culturally validated or tailored to the population under study?
13. Has qualitative research or mixed methods been included in the design of the study, that is, for the selection of the instruments or for the collection of qualitative data on the research subject?
14. Have cultural variables been included in the study design such as ethnicity, cultural identity, religious beliefs or acculturation, among others? In addition, and following the Bridging Research Integrity and Global Health Epidemiology guidelines, have the different causal mechanisms associated with these variables been considered and the limitations of using these variables as proxies for more complex categories been acknowledged?
15. Does the study address how symptoms, clinical problems, diseases and/or attitudes toward patients, populations and/or health systems are influenced by social determinants of health and structural vulnerabilities? For example, but not limited to discrimination, lack of financial security, lacking safe/stable place, risk environments, difficulty in food access, lack of social network, problems with legal status and/or lack of formal education.
16. Has local knowledge been considered in interpreting the results of the study, that is, local ideas on aetiology and disease transmission?
17. Does the sample consider subsamples of cultural minority groups, groups subject to health disparities, and/or historically under-represented? And if so, in what way, that is, has the analysis been disaggregated for such variables or have they been considered as confounder/effect modifiers?
18. Have barriers to participation in the study arising from structural vulnerabilities been analysed? If so, has the inclusion of these participants been facilitated in any way?
Dissemination19. Does the dissemination plan include the groups under study? Does this plan include reflexivity and awareness on potential linguistic, cultural and social gaps?
20. As part of the dissemination of the results, has any output (ie, publication or audio-visual document) been addressed and culturally tailored to the population studied (ie, tested in a focus group)?
21. Have the cultural and social specificities of the studied groups been considered in the conclusions, recommendations and in the implementation of the results?
22. Is there a dissemination or Responsible Research and Innovation plan considering the active role of participants and stakeholders? If so, have barriers to participation been assessed and active participation been facilitated?