Using Formative Research to Explore and Address Elder Health and Care in Chiapas, Mexico
Demographic and epidemiological transitions in an era of social and economic uncertainty have provoked a pervasive elder health care crisis. Engaged anthropology using formative research is propitious for addressing elder health and care needs. Formative research is an iterative, multistage participatory process that draws on multiple methods and actors to develop, monitor, and assess community-congruent interventions. It entails becoming informed about and informing community dialogue; identifying needs and resources; generating intervention options via critical assessment and problem solving; and monitoring process, outcome, and responses. This chapter details how formative research was conducted in a small city in Chiapas (Mexico's southernmost state) to improve primary elder health care while engaging elders, care providers, researchers, and media.
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