BACKGROUND: To support equity focussed public health policy in low and middle income countries, more evidence and analysis of the social determinants of health inequalities is needed. This requires specific know how among researchers. The INDEPTH Training and Research Centres of Excellence (INTREC) collaboration will develop and provide training on the social determinants of health approach for health researchers from the International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (INDEPTH) in Africa and Asia. To identify learning needs among the potential target group, this qualitative study explored what INDEPTH researchers from Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh feel that they want to learn to be able to conduct research on the causes of health inequalities in their country.
METHODS: Using an inductive method, online concept-mapping, participants were asked to generate statements in response to the question what background knowledge they would need to conduct research on the causes of health inequalities in their country, to sort those statements into thematic groups, and to rate them in terms of how important it would be for the INTREC program to offer instruction on each of the statements. Statistical techniques were used to structure statements into a thematic cluster map and average importance ratings of statements/clusters were calculated.
RESULTS: Of the 150 invited researchers, 82 participated in the study; 54 from Africa; 28 from Asia. Participants generated 59 statements and sorted them into 6 broader thematic clusters: "assessing health inequalities"; "research design and methods"; "research and policy"; "demography and health inequalities"; "social determinants of health" and "interventions". African participants assigned the highest importance to further training on methods for assessing health inequalities. Asian participants assigned the highest importance to training on research and policy.
CONCLUSION: The identified thematic clusters and statements provide a detailed understanding of what INDEPTH researchers want to learn in order to be able to conduct research on the social determinants of health inequalities. This offers a framework for developing capacity building programs in this emerging field of public health research.
2014. Vol. 14, 1254
Social determinants of health, Capacity building, Research personnel, Africa, Asia