Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Ashley Hagaman


Background: Qualitative research methods are central to understanding the complex nuances of implementation of evidence-based interventions and are well-suited to exploring health equity research questions. Scholars have increasingly called for centering equity in implementation science research, but less is known about how qualitative methods have been used for this purpose. This scoping review asks: What equity-informed qualitative methods are used in implementation research focused on health equity? We conceptualize “equity-informed” as encompassing participatory methods and qualitative data collection and analytic methods that explore participants’ unique viewpoints and perspectives on equitable implementation. Methods: This review was carried out in the context of a large scoping review by Hagaman et al. on the use of qualitative methods in 867 implementation science research articles published from 2006 to 2020 in 46 journals. 258 potential equity-related articles were further screened. US-based articles were included that 1) focused on health equity through implementation of evidence-based interventions, and 2) used equity-informed qualitative methods. Data were extracted from each article based on five domains and analyzed thematically. Results: The screening process resulted in 16 articles that focused on community-based and clinic-based interventions to address disparities, primarily in chronic disease. Articles also explored equity from the perspective of implementers. Study teams used participatory methods, equity-focused implementation frameworks, purposive sampling of participants, equity-focused data collection methods, and analytic approaches to assess the ‘validity’ or ‘credibility’ of equity-related findings. Dissemination of results to communities was infrequently reported. Conclusions: Qualitative methods that are informed by and center equity are well-positioned to explore structural, organizational, and local factors and uncover the ways in which implementation is more or less equitable. Further use of the identified equity-informed qualitative methods and expanded use of novel and innovative methods have the potential to strengthen equity-focused implementation research and help achieve health equity.


This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 05/22/2026