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We Ask Because We Care: Feasibility and acceptability of sociodemographic data collection in Saskatoon



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The study assessed the feasibility and acceptability of sociodemographic data collection in one western Canadian urban centre. It also explored local facilitators and barriers to implementation in order to gain insight about how to support change and foster adoption of similar equity interventions across health regions in the province of Saskatchewan. A multiple case study was used to evaluate the process of implementation of sociodemographic data collection across three acute and ambulatory care sites. The study draws on multiple qualitative and quantitative methods including individual and group interviews, chart reviews and surveys to understand the diverse participant perspectives and experiences. Cases were studied sequentially. Within cases an integrated approach to data collection and analysis was applied. Cross case synthesis was done to identify similarities and differences across health contexts. Analysis revealed that it was feasible to collect selected sociodemographic information although there was a gradient of comfort depending on the question and context in which it was asked. High item non responses were observed for questions related to annual household income and year of arrival to Canada. Perceived importance of sociodemographic data collection varied by participant characteristics including age, race/ethnicity and gender identity. Patient participants who felt that data collection was important appreciated how it could be used to improve care, trusted institutional motives for collection and had positive experiences with the health care system. Common reasons for reservations about data collection included perceptions that it was inappropriate to ask or irrelevant to the provision of care, and concerns about the potential for misuse of the information. Preferences for mode of administration of questions varied depending on the participant characteristics. Structural, organizational, provider and patient factors influenced implementation across sites. There is growing interest in upstream approaches to the delivery of care. The study demonstrated feasibility and acceptability for sociodemographic data collection, however more work is needed to support wider implementation of some determinants across local health care settings.



feasibility, sociodemographic data, health care setting



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Community Health and Epidemiology


Community and Population Health Science


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