Special Issue: Measuring and Analyzing Health Care Disparities
Lessons from the Use of Vignettes in the Study of Mental Health Service Disparities
Article first published online: 8 DEC 2011
© Health Research and Educational Trust
Health Services Research
Volume 47, Issue 3pt2, pages 1345–1362, June 2012
How to Cite
Lapatin, S., Gonçalves, M., Nillni, A., Chavez, L., Quinn, R. L., Green, A. and Alegría, M. (2012), Lessons from the Use of Vignettes in the Study of Mental Health Service Disparities. Health Services Research, 47: 1345–1362. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01360.x
- Issue published online: 8 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 8 DEC 2011
- National Institute of Mental Health. Grant Number: P60 MD 002261
- National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
- mental health services
To examine the development, feasibility, and use of a vignette approach as an important tool in health services disparities research.
Interviews with vignette developers and qualitative data from a novel mental health services disparities study that used vignettes in two samples: (1) predominantly low-income parents of children attending mental health specialty care who were Latino or non-Latino White and (2) Latino and non-Latino mental health clinicians who treat children in their practice.
We conduct a content analysis of qualitative data from patients and providers in the Ethnic Differences Study to explore the feasibility of vignette methodology in health services disparities research, and we identify lessons learned that may guide future vignette development.
Vignettes provide a valuable approach that is acceptable to participants, elicits important insight on participant experience and services, and sheds light on factors that can help optimize study design for exploring health disparities questions.
Researchers, clinicians, and others should consider a set of factors that help determine when a vignette approach is warranted in research, training, or for other uses, including how best to address identified weaknesses.