Here is a living reading list on ethnicity, identity, health and society – I will be updating this list quite frequently as I am engaging with the literature on a daily basis.  I’ve provided links where possible, but this is usually to the publisher website (sometimes the PDF, if it’s being published ahead of press).  Please comment, critique and contribute.

Asthma and Ethnicity

For a review of asthma with an ethnicity lens – looking at its influences on prevalence and health outcomes and its interaction with socio-economic status and health literacy.  Research priorities for asthma and health along with practical actions are suggested.

Davidson E, Liu JJ, Sheikh A. The impact of ethnicity on asthma care. Prim Care Resp J 2010; Available from: URL: (paper)

Ethnicity, Race and Health – Theories and Models

A review of models and conceptual work on race and ethnicity and their contribution to public health and health disparities.

Dressler WW, Oths, KS, Gravlee, CC.  Race and Ethnicity in Public Health Research:  Models to Explain Health Disparities. Annu Rev Anthropol 2005;34:231-52. (abstract)

LaVeist TA.1994.  Beyond dummy variables and sample selection:  What health services researchers ought to know about race as a variable. Health Serv. Res. 29(1):1-16. (PDF)

Resnicow K, Baranowski T, Ahluwalia JS, Braithwaite RL. 1999. Cultural sensitivity in public health:  Defined and Demystified.  Ethn. Dis. 9:10-21 (abstract)

Sorensen G, Emmons K, Hunt MK, Barbeau E, Goldman R, Peterson K, Kuntz K, Stoddard A, Berkman L.  Model for incorporating social context in health behavior interventions:  applications for cancer prevention for working-class, multiethnic populations.  Prev. Med. 37:188-197 (abstract)

Ethnicity, Race and Health – Commentaries and Critiques

Ellison GTH. Medicine in black and white: BiDil®, race and the limits of evidence-based medicine. Significance, 2006; 3: 118-121 (abstract)

Epstein S. The rise of “recruitmentology”: clinical research, racial knowledge, and the politics of inclusion and difference. Social Studies of Science, 2008; 38:801-832. (abstract)

Afshari R, Bhopal RS. 2010.  Ethnicity has overtaken race in medical science: MEDLINE-based comparison of trends in the USA and the rest of the world, 1965-2005. Int J Epidemiol: doi: 10.1093/ije/dyp382. (abstract)

Ethnicity, Race and Health – Reviews

Alrasbi M & Sheikh A.  Alcohol-based pressurised metered-dose inhalers for use in asthma:  a descriptive study, Primary Care Respiratory Journal, 2008; 17:111-113. (paper)

Kreuter MW, McClure SM.  The role of culture in health communication.  Ann Rev Public Health. 2004; 25:439-55 (abstract)

Hruschka DJ. 2009.  Culture as an explanation in population health.  Ann. Hum. Biol. 36(3):235-247. (abstract)

Mays VM, Ponce NA, Washington DL, Cochran SD. 2003.  Classification of race and ethnicity:  Implications for public health. Annu. Rev. Public Health. 24:83-110. (PDF)

Ethnicity, Race and Health – Empirical studies

Benowitz et al.  Slower Metabolism and Reduced Intake of Nicotine From Cigarette Smoking in Chinese-Americans.  K Natl Cancer Inst 2002; 94(2):108-15 (paper)

Derby et al. Nicotine Metabolism in Three Ethnic/Racial Groups with Different Risks of Lung Cancer.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008; 17(12):3526-35 (paper)

McBride et al (2002) Incorporating genetic susceptibility feedback into a smoking cessation progrm for African-American smokers with low income. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2002; 11:521-528 (paper)

Shelley D, Fahs M, Yerneni R et al.  Effectiveness of tobacco control among Chinese Americans:  a comparative analysis of policy approaches versus community-based programs.  Prev Med. 2008 Nov;47(5):530-6. (paper)

Ethnicity, Race and Health – books

LaVeist TA.  2005. Minority populations and health: an introduction to health disparities in the U.S. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (Amazon)


Bhopal, R.  Concepts of epidemiology:  integrating the ideas, theories, principles and methods of epidemiology.  2nd Edition.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2008. (book)

Complex Interventions

Campbell M, Fitzpatrick R, Haines A, Kinmonth AL, Sandercock P, Spiegelhalter D, Tyrer P.  Framework for design and evaluation of complex interventions to improve health.  Br Med J, 2000; 321:694-6 (abstract)

Realist Review

Realist review offers an “alternative” to systematic review and meta-analysis of a body of evidence to inform policy-making.  The thrust of realist review is identifying “what works for whom and in what circumstances” by analysing/testing/comparing programme theories rather than the programme per se.  I think of it more of a philosophy of reviewing evidence which offers a panacea of sorts to the orthodoxy of systematic review within evidence-based policy and evidence-based medicine.

Pawson R & Tilley N.  Realistic evaluation.  London:  Sage, 1997.

Pawson, P.  Evidence-based policy: a realist perspective.  London:  Sage, 2006. (also see his web supplements)

Evidence-Based Medicine

Lambert H.  Evidentiary truths?  The evidence of anthropology through the anthropology of medical evidence.  Anthropology Today, 2009; 25(1):16-20 (abstract)

Evidence-Based Public Health

Brownson RC, Fielding JE, Maylahn CM. 2009.  Evidence-based public health:  A fundamental concept for public health practice.  Annu. Rev. Public Health.  30:175-201. (abstract)

Jackson N, Waters E and the Guidelines for Systematic Reviews of Health Promotion and Public Health Interventions Taskforce. 2004.  The challenges of systematically reviewing public health interventions.  J. Public Health. 26(3):303-307. (PDF)


O’Cathain A, Murphy E, Nicholl J.  Research Methods & Reporting: Three techniques for integrating data in mixed methods studies.  Br Med J, 2010;341:doi:10.1136/bmj.c4587 (abstract)

Castro FG, Kellison JG, Boyd SJ, Kopak A. 2010. A methodology for conducting integrative mixed methods research and data analyses.  J. Mix. Methods Res. 4(4):342-360. (abstract)

Dixon-Woods M, Agarwal S, Jones D, Young B, Sutton A.  Synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence: A review of possible methods.  J. Health Serv. Res. Policy. 10(1):45-53. (abstract)

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