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Methodological Considerations for Research With Black Male Victims of Violent Injury in an Urban Trauma Unit

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There is a body of research over the last three decades that has focused on the etiology of violence among victims of violent injury. This body of literature indicates that Black men are disproportionately represented among victims of violent injury seen in emergency departments and trauma centers across the country. Despite the disproportionate number of low-income young Black men treated for violent injury in urban trauma units and the growing body of literature accompanying it, little is known about the unique methodological challenges violent injury researchers face when conducting research on this vulnerable population in a clinical setting. This article describes the unique and often nuanced methodological difficulties a research team encountered while conducting a longitudinal qualitative study on risk factors for repeat violent injury among low-income young Black male victims of violent injury treated at a Level II trauma center in the Eastern United States. Four methodological challenges are identified: (a) the identification and screening of participants, (b) recruitment and interviewing, (c) understanding hospital culture, policies, and procedures, and (d) retention and attrition of sample. Recommendations to overcome these challenges are offered.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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