Clin Oncol | Volume 5, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Research on Cancer and Hard to Reach Populations: What to Learn From Social Sciences Methodologies

Natalia Luxardo*

University of Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina

*Correspondance to: Natalia Luxardo 

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This case draws from findings of an ongoing long-term community-based participatory study anchor in low-income rural and peri-urban areas of Argentina, with the goal of providing insights into the role played by social determinants of health in cancer inequity during the first phases of the continuum of cancer control. It is based on a collaborative design oriented to equity; organized in a collaborative format; and work with communities. Eight health centers were selected through a strategic sampling that combined theoretical and empirical selection criteria. The populations of these communities have economic difficulties, low or no level of education and there were social problem scenarios in adverse environmental conditions. The strategy combined more specific forms of inquiry, mainly ethnography but also some other qualitative methods. These non-intrusive methods were enriched with the perspectives of the locals who were also researchers. The selected methodologies revisited in this essay tried above all, to respect and account for the particularities of the contexts, generating situated knowledge rooted in the realities for which this knowledge is intended. It concludes that the selection criteria of these methodologies are not only epistemological, but mainly ethical and political. They are chosen because they respect the needs of such communities with structural inequality conditions and led to relevant emerging topics of the living conditions in where participants had to live, the structural problems they had to deal with on a daily basis, and how they affected all the other parts of their lives, including health-care access.


Luxardo N. Research on Cancer and Hard to Reach Populations: What to Learn From Social Sciences Methodologies. Clin Oncol. 2020; 5: 1730.

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