Gladys B. Asiedu, Ph.D., is a health services and health care delivery researcher focused on ecological perspective and how contextual components of health care delivery impact individuals, stakeholders and the health care process. Her qualitative research utilizes a mixture of conceptual frameworks in family science and systems theory, clinical and community engagement approaches, and innovative methodologies. These frameworks inform practice improvement and help researchers develop interventions to reduce health disparities faced by underrepresented groups.
Dr. Asiedu has made significant contributions to improving practice processes and procedures, including advances in enhanced patient safety in spine surgery, improved autopsy-related communication leading to increased autopsy rates and expansion of teleneonatology health care delivery systems.
Linking the micro and macro factors related to patient health and health systems. Dr. Asiedu's research uses ecological and systems perspectives. These frameworks provide focus on contextual components impacting individuals and the health care process with consideration of social determinants of health, including physical, social and cultural contexts, policies and involvement, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and treatment history.
Dr. Asiedu's work outlines theoretical frameworks for multilevel approaches that combine behavioral and contextual components. These frameworks present opportunities for developing clinical event and decision-making interventions that consider relational, familial, social, structural and situational dimensions.
Dr. Asiedu's research uses collaborative participatory methods to examine and understand interactions between multiple stakeholders — including employees, patients and families — and systems such as social context, health care teams, processes, institutional policies and programs. Through better understanding the interactions between stakeholders and systems, Dr. Asiedu aims to improve health care delivery.
Addressing disparities and inequities in workplace, patient and community settings. Dr. Asiedu's research includes priority initiatives in improving equity, inclusion, and diversity and extensive work in reducing health disparities. Her collaborative work in this area has led to implementation and evaluation of several culturally tailored interventions for underrepresented groups, including immigrants, refugees and people with limited English proficiency. This work has focused on family-centered, home-based coaching and learning about physical activity and healthy eating, as well as the implementation of a crisis and emergency risk communication intervention.
Dr. Asiedu's work includes exploring factors contributing to successful recruitment and treatment of underrepresented groups into therapeutic cancer clinical trials at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Asiedu's research also includes characterizing the lived experiences of employees, trainees, learners and pediatric patients who are members of minority populations. These characterizations help her develop evidence-based strategies to support and strengthen inclusivity and equity for employees, students and patients.
Using methodological approaches in practice improvement and implementation designs. Dr. Asiedu specializes in innovative qualitative research designs and analytic methods, including participatory approaches, visual research designs, and rapid evaluation and assessment methods. Her participatory approaches, such as community engaged research, help ensure culturally appropriate methods in studying and understanding specific populations and clinical spaces.
Dr. Asiedu's visual research designs include using photo elicitation and video reflexive ethnography, a novel approach to recording routine clinical practices and then discussing the process and areas for improvement with participants. For example, she has used video reflexive ethnography to find ways to improve pathology teams' post-transplant conferences.
Additionally, Dr. Asiedu's methodological work includes applying a community-engaged research approach to collaboratively implement and evaluate a crisis and emergency communication intervention among refugees and immigrant populations. She has also used a multimethod approach to implement and evaluate the acceptance, utilization and integration of teleneonatology health care delivery systems and models of care in community hospital settings.
Dr. Asiedu's current methodological work includes using photo elicitation to create narratives of underrepresented groups in interventional cancer treatment trials that are region- and Mayo Clinic site-specific. This work will be used for patient and community education and social marketing to accelerate the recruitment of underrepresented groups into cancer trials.
Significance to patient care
Disparity, bias, discrimination and other inequities are detrimental to minority populations' health and lives. The need to discover, translate and apply scientific advances to address the unmet needs of underrepresented employees and patients has never been greater.
Opportunities abound to optimize health care delivery by engaging care teams, patients and communities to holistically understand health care practices, processes and procedures, thus informing practice change and improving patient outcomes and satisfaction. Linking determinants of health from micro to macro levels is essential in advancing interventional research focused on addressing structural, organizational, social and behavioral barriers and facilitators to improve health care delivery and patient outcomes.