Trained as a medical anthropologist, Dr. Robin T. Higashi specializes in using qualitative methods to evaluate and optimize health services delivery and health outcomes for underserved populations. She is Multi-Principal Investigator (with MPI Hogan) for a study funded by the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center to evaluate implementation of telehealth during the COVID-19 era and to identify best practices for delivering cancer care to those with limited digital health literacy beyond the pandemic. Dr. Higashi also serves as Co-Investigator on several large mixed methods interventional studies, including: optimizing cervical cancer screening (NCI UM1CA221940 Tiro/Haas/Kamineni, NCI 1R01CA178414-01 Tiro/Baldwin), evaluating connection to care needs among the rural uninsured (NIH P30CA142543 Arteaga), preventing hepatocellular cancer by optimizing hepatitis C virus screening (CPRIT PP150079 Singal), and coordinating care for cancer survivors with multiple comorbidities (NIH 5R01CA20385602 Lee/Balasubramanian).
Leveraging her fluency in Spanish, Dr. Higashi regularly leads qualitative research with Spanish-speakers, who comprise approximately 34% of Dallas County’s population. She works closely with the Department of Population & Data Sciences' Spanish Language Validation Resource to promote accuracy and confirm conceptual equivalence in understanding of English and Spanish study materials. This process enhances quality using a systematic, evidence-based process that includes comprehensive literacy testing, forward and back translation, validation, identification of problematic concepts and phrases, and cognitive testing with the target audience.
Dr. Higashi remains actively involved in teaching and mentoring clinical faculty and research staff new to qualitative methods. She regularly conduct lectures at UT Southwestern Medical School to increase student and trainee awareness of challenges faced by stigmatized populations, including those served by Parkland, our safety net institution. These teaching and mentoring activities further the capacity of the institution to conduct rigorous qualitative research and to work more effectively with underserved populations.
- Stanford University (1998), Psychology
- Graduate School
- Uni of California-Sfrancisco (2010), Medical Anthropology
- digital health literacy and access to telehealth
- impact of structural inequality on health experience and outcomes
- mixed methods program evaluation
- Spanish-speaking (im)migrant populations
- COVID-19 Communication From Seven Health Care Institutions in North Texas for English- and Spanish-Speaking Cancer Patients: Mixed Method Website Study.
- Higashi RT, Sweetenham JW, Israel AD, Tiro JA, JMIR Cancer 2021 Aug 7 3 e30492
- Thematic Analysis of Challenges of Care Coordination for Underinsured and Uninsured Cancer Survivors With Chronic Conditions.
- Balasubramanian BA, Higashi RT, Rodriguez SA, Sadeghi N, Santini NO, Lee SC, JAMA Netw Open 2021 Aug 4 8 e2119080
- Patient and provider-level barriers to hepatitis C screening and linkage to care: A mixed-methods evaluation.
- Higashi RT, Jain MK, Quirk L, Rich NE, Waljee AK, Turner BJ, Lee SC, Singal AG, J Viral Hepat 2020 07 27 7 680-689
- Patient-Centered Measure Development and Spanish Validation Exemplar.
- Higashi RT, Juengst SB, Health Lit Res Pract 2019 Oct 3 4 e243-e249
- The 'worthy' patient: rethinking the 'hidden curriculum' in medical education.
- Higashi RT, Tillack A, Steinman MA, Johnston CB, Harper GM, Anthropol Med 2013 Apr 20 1 13-23
- Anal cancer screening among women with HIV: provider experiences and system-level challenges.
- Higashi RT, Rodriguez SA, Betts AC, Tiro JA, Luque AE, Rivera R, Barnes A, AIDS Care 2021 Feb 1-7
- Anal Cancer and Anal Cancer Screening Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceived Risk Among Women Living With HIV.
- Rodriguez SA, Higashi RT, Betts AC, Ortiz C, Tiro JA, Luque AE, Barnes A, J Low Genit Tract Dis 2021 Jan 25 1 43-47
- Adaptation of Group-Based Suicide Intervention for Latinx Youth in a Community Mental Health Center
- Kennard B, A Moorehead, S Stewart, A El-Behadli, H Mbroh, K Goga, R Wildman, M Michaels, RT Higashi J Child Family Stud 2020 29 4 2058-2069
- The art of observation: a qualitative analysis of medical students' experiences.
- He B, Prasad S, Higashi RT, Goff HW, BMC Med Educ 2019 Jun 19 1 234
- Patient and provider perspectives on delivery of oral cancer therapies.
- Murphy CC, Lee SJC, Gerber DE, Cox JV, Fullington HM, Higashi RT, Patient Educ Couns 2019 Jun
Elder care as ?frustrating? and ?boring?: Understanding the persistence of negative attitudes toward older patients among physicians-in-training. In The Social Medicine Reader
Higashi RT, A Tillack, MA Steinman, M Harper, CB Johnston (2019). Durham, NC, Duke University Press