Research Areas

Current Research Funding

Understanding and addressing cost-related nonadherence to medication: A mixed method multi-phase study
This R01 study, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (PI James), examines the cost-related challenges of adhering to medications for chronic health conditions. The study focuses on people who have high medical costs and few financial resources to pay for such costs. It also engages the perspectives of health care providers on cost conversations with their patients and their strategies to buffer the high costs of medications. The findings will lead to a pilot intervention. As co-investigator, this study builds on my previous research in the United States and Zambia, in which I have identified some strategies that people use to access and stay on treatment. I will explore strategies related to cost more directly through leading the ethnographic and narrative interviews and analyses.

Implementation of Patient Navigation in Rural Geographic Areas – Patient Perspectives
This R21 study, funded by the National Cancer Institute (PI Lobb), uses qualitative methods to investigate patients’ experiences of follow up care after an abnormal mammogram. The study population includes women living in rural areas who receive primary care from Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Clinics. As co-investigator on this grant, I lead the interview process and analysis of the interviews.

Developing Strategies to Implement Patient Navigation in Rural Areas – Organizational Perspectives
This mixed methods study, funded by the American Cancer Society (PI Lobb), surveyed Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics in southeast Missouri to estimate adoption of patient navigation to improve early detection of breast cancer and the organizational characteristics that predict adoption. In-depth case studies were conducted on a sample of organizations that responded to the survey in order to add depth and meaning to survey findings and learn how we can potentially modify organizational factors to increase adoption of patient navigation in rural health care organizations. As co-investigator on this grant, I provide the methodological expertise on qualitative data collection and analysis for the in-depth case studies.

The Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD) - Phase Out Supplement
The goal of this project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is to create a national model for eliminating disparities in cancer through community-based partnerships and community based participatory research (CBPR); to increase access by breaking down barriers to quality cancer care; and to be a catalyst for change in our region by fostering healthy communities. During the Phase-Out period, I am leading and advising on several analyses and publications of our data. 

Photovoice Discussion - Jean leadingDr. Jean Hunleth leads a community discussion about the completed Photovoice project.Completed Research Projects and Funding


Short Course on Research Methods (SCRM) in Cultural Domain Analysis
The SCRM program from the National Science Foundation is a competitive research training fellowship for faculty who have PhDs in anthropology and want to broaden their research methods skills. The course was in July 2015.


Mapping Elderly Care in Shanghai and St. Louis 
This grant brought together an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and Fudan University in Shanghai to develop preliminary research on elderly care systems in Shanghai. This project was funded by a Global Aging Initiative Seed Grant from the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging, Washington University in St. Louis (PI Song, Chen, Pan; 2014-2015).


Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities
The goal of this project, funded by the National Cancer Institute, was to create a national model for eliminating disparities in cancer through community-based partnerships and community based participatory research (CBPR); to increase access by breaking down barriers to quality cancer care; and to be a catalyst for change in our region by fostering healthy communities. The program included a leadership core, community outreach component, full and pilot research projects, and a training program. I worked on this grant from 2012 to 2015 as a postdoctoral scholar. 

Photovoice to Increase Colorectal Cancer Awareness
This National Cancer Institute funded study (PI James) examined the experience of colon cancer screening among medically under-served populations in St. Louis through the use of Photovoice. As the lead researcher on this Photovoice study, I refined the protocol, trained research assistants and mentored students in participatory research, led data collection and analyses. This was a National Cancer Institute grant from 2012-2015.


Research into Child Domestic Labour and Trafficking in Zambia
(With Virginia Bond, Cathy Zimmerman, Ligia Kiss, and Sue Clay)
The focus of this study, funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund, was to examine the scope of need for children who engage in domestic labor. I was involved in the conceptualization and design of protocol examining the health and living conditions of children who engaged in domestic labor in Zambia. I developed the child-oriented research instruments (interview and focus group guides, role plays, and drawing activities) and ethical protocol for research with children, and I also provided guidance during research and data analysis. The study began in 2011 and ended in 2012.


Gender, Generation, and Caregiving in the TB Epidemic in Lusaka, Zambia
This one-year fellowship from the American Association of University Women supported data analysis and writing for the dissemination of my research findings related to the gender and generational aspects of the TB epidemic in Zambia. The fellowship began in 2010 and ended in 2011.


Children’s Caregiving and the Household Management of Tuberculosis Treatment in Lusaka, Zambia
This study focused on children’s roles as caregivers in their households when guardians were diagnosed with tuberculosis and on treatment. I was the principal investigator of this study, which received funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and a Fulbright IIE Fellowship. The study used ethnographic, survey, and participatory research methods and was carried out from July 2007 to September 2008. 


Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation 
As the recipient of this training fellowship, I carried out preliminary data collection in Zambia from 2004-2007 and analyzed secondary data collected within the Zambia and South Africa Tuberculosis and AIDS Reduction study. Primary data collection included systematic participant-observation in several residential areas and clinics in Zambia as well as focus group discussions in healthcare setting and schools in Zambia.