Data Breakdowns May Uncover More Cancer Disparities

When researchers break ethnic groups down into more specific groups and nationalities, more disparities often become apparent. However, there is a number of reasons why this may not be done, explained Chastity Washington, MPH, CHES.

When researchers break ethnic groups down into more specific groups and nationalities, more disparities often become apparent. However, there is a number of reasons why this may not be done, explained Chastity Washington, MPH, CHES, director of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

Transcription

Statisticians are data driven. You have to have a certain sample size or a certain number or number for it to be what's called statistically significant.

And sometimes, [it depends on] the community and the population. So I'm in Ohio, and we may not have a large enough Hispanic population, that when we use those numbers, we can truly from a research standpoint, say anything about it.

But then if you look at it individually, and then you add it collectively across the country, in places where there are other Hispanic populations, larger Hispanic populations, then I think that's when you can start to see these differences and parcel them out.

So I think we are moving towards that. I've been to a few conferences where people are encouraging that. I was on a call earlier this week, where a researcher had done that with the Asian population and started looking at specific Asian groups versus lumping everyone together. We also have to start collecting that.