The challenges of cross-cultural research and teaching in primary care

· Editorial, Volume 4 Issue 2

The challenges of cross-cultural research and teaching in primary care
Author: Mathers, Nigel Joseph

This special issue of Family Medicine and Community Health is focused on some of the challenges that we face when undertaking cross-cultural academic studies in primary care. It includes both research and teaching studies conducted in several different countries around the world. It highlights some of the challenges we need to address when undertaking such academic work in widely different contexts and cultures. The authors have used a wide variety of methods – chosen to match not only the questions they have asked but also the methods they have chosen which take into account the context in which the studies have been undertaken.

The context in which a piece of work has been undertaken differs, of course, in the detail, but in principle, all of the authors in this special issue of Family Medicine and Community Health have faced the same general challenge of ensuring the best quality for their academic work. To do this they have, for example, tried to ensure that the study design chosen is the most appropriate one to answer the individual questions they have asked. In addition, to ensure the highest rigor in their work, they have recognized the importance of using suitable data collection and analysis methods and adopting dissemination strategies which are matched to the different health and educational systems in which they work. However, when reading the articles in this issue, the attentive reader will want to ask himself or herself “how do I decide whether the issues raised by this particular study are applicable in my own situation?”

Document Type: Editorial