CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Yearb Med Inform 2022; 31(01): 307-316
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1742542
Research & Education

Equitable Research PRAXIS: A Framework for Health Informatics Methods

Tiffany C. Veinot
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
2   Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Phillipa J. Clarke
3   Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
4   Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Daniel M. Romero
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
5   Division of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
6   Center for the Study of Complex Systems, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Lorraine R. Buis
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
7   Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Tawanna R. Dillahunt
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
5   Division of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Vinod V.G. Vydiswaran
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
8   Department of Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Ashley Beals
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Lindsay Brown
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Olivia Richards
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Alicia Williamson
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Marcy G. Antonio
1   School of Information, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA
› Author Affiliations


Objectives: There is growing attention to health equity in health informatics research. However, the literature lacks a comprehensive framework outlining critical considerations for health informatics research with marginalized groups.

Methods: Literature review and experiences from nine equity-focused health informatics conducted in the United States and Canada. Studies focus on disparities related to age, disability or chronic illness, gender/sex, place of residence (rural/urban), race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

Results: We found four key equity-related methodological considerations. To assist informaticists in addressing equity, we contribute a novel framework to synthesize these four considerations: PRAXIS (Participation and Representation, Appropriate methods and interventions, conteXtualization and structural competence, Investigation of Systematic differences). Participation and representation refers to the necessity for meaningful participation of marginalized groups in research, to elevate the voices of marginalized people, and to represent marginalized people as they are comfortable (e.g., asset-based versus deficit-based). Appropriate methods and interventions mean targeting methods, instruments, and interventions to reach and engage marginalized people. Contextualization and structural competence mean avoiding individualization of systematic disparities and targeting social conditions that (re-)produce inequities. Investigation of systematic differences highlights that experiences of people marginalized according to specific traits differ from those not so marginalized, and thus encourages studying the specificity of these differences and investigating and preventing intervention-generated inequality. We outline guidance for operationalizing these considerations at four research stages.

Conclusions: This framework can assist informaticists in systematically addressing these considerations in their research in four research stages: project initiation; sampling and recruitment; data collection; and data analysis. We encourage others to use these insights from multiple studies to advance health equity in informatics.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Article published online:
04 December 2022

© 2022. IMIA and Thieme. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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