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In connection with the redesign of the National Health Interview Survey, the National Center for Health Statistics funded some exploratory ethno-medical research. Specifically, several medical anthropologists were contracted to conduct field research on how various socio-cultural groups in the United States conceptualize the domain of mental health. Both in-depth, ethnographic interviews and focused interviews were used by the anthropologists. The paper describes the impetus for this research, briefly reviews the existing literature for research which may be relevant to an understanding of cultural effects in survey reports of mental health, and summarizes the initial field research results, with special attention to implications of the research for questionnaire design.
Von Thurn, Dawn R., Jeffrey C. Moore and Elizabeth A. Martin. (2010).* National Health Interview Survey Redesign: An Anthropological Investigation of Mental Health Concepts. Statistical Research Division Research Report Series (Survey Methodology #2010-05). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <http://www.census.gov/srd/papers/pdf/rsm2010-05.pdf>.