A Systematic Examination of Race in Health-Focused Human-Computer Interaction Research – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

A Systematic Examination of Race in Health-Focused Human-Computer Interaction Research

Devon Roe


Pronouns: she/her

Research Mentor(s): Kentaro Toyama, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: School of Information,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 4 (2pm-2:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 9
Presenter: 3

Event Link


The human-computer interaction (HCI) community has a long tradition of health-related research. Epidemiological and public health research has revealed widespread racial disparities in healthcare. We conducted a systematic review of HCI research on race and healthcare, to identify common themes and gaps within health-related HCI research. Beginning with an initial set of 418 articles drawn from two major HCI venues, we applied a set of exclusion criteria resulting in an eventual dataset of 24 articles. We conducted a thematic analysis, with a special focus on examining how race is understood and operationalized. We found considerable variation in definitions of race across articles, with some focusing on skin color, others on socio-cultural differences, and still others not providing any explicit definition of race. This variation was further reflected in common research practices such as the method used to identify participants’ race and the level of specificity used in categorizing participants’ race and ethnicity. We also found that some articles posed racial issues as an area of future work, without including them in their current investigation. We discuss implications for health-related HCI research, including the need for race-consciousness in research design and for specificity in defining race.

Authors: Devon Roe, Megh Marathe
Research Method: Data Collection and Analysis

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