Transcultural qualitative research is known for its utility in eliciting in-depth narratives, resulting in increased understanding about cultural phenomena. However, sometimes specific phenomena in the researcher’s inquiry are ignored, evaded, or denied; or a seemingly crucial experience demonstrating society’s unfairness, which the researcher had been expecting, does not emerge. In this paper, the issue of evasions in narratives is addressed, with two examples in which participants evaded the issue about which they were asked: perceptions of discrimination for aging adults of Mexican descent, and perceptions of living with life-limiting illnesses for aging African American adults. The Ethno-Cultural Gerontological Nursing Model framework’s Macro-level factors (climate of stereotypes, attitudes and ascriptions of the majority group) and Group-based influences (“Cultural/historical traditions” and “Cohort influences”) organize our thinking about addressing evasions by minority research participants. Four tools synthesized from the literature and our research experiences are recommended: (1) self-assessment of one’s own cultural values and lenses, (2) co-collaborating during the data collection and analysis phases, (3) acknowledging the power position of the researcher, and (4) over-reading.


Qualitative Research, Evasions, Vulnerable Populations, Aging Adults, Mexican Descent, African American

Author Bio(s)

Janice D. Crist, RN, PhD, FNGNA, FAAN is an Associate Professor, College of Nursing, The University of Arizona. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: jcrist@email.arizona.edu.

Heather Coats, MS, APRN-BC, PhD, is a Post-Doctoral Scholar, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, University of Washington. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: coatsh@email.arizona.edu.

Kay Lehman, RN, MSN, CWOCN is Adjunct Faculty, Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: kayefel@cox.net.

Isela Luna, RN, PhD, CCM, is the Director of Case Management, Kindred Hospital, Tucson, AZ. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Iselalunarn.phd@gmail.com.


The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the College of Nursing, The University of Arizona, Dean’s Research Award; NIH/NHLBI T32 HL 125195-1; and contributions by John B. Haradon, MEd, MSHP.

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