CHIP’s Zahra Hosseinian Presents on Engaging Muslims in Research at the Annual APA Conference

Zahra Hosseinian, Project Management Associate at CHIP, recently gave a presentation that went beyond the scope of her day-to-day CHIP research at the American Psychological Association (APA) convention, which was held in August 9 – 12 in San Francisco, CA. Zahra’s presentation, titled “Engaging Muslims in Research,” focused on the lack of Muslim representation in health research and ways to effectively recruit and retain Muslim study participants.

While the number of Muslims in the United States continues to grow, the existing body of academic literature on Muslim populations is sparse. The limited literature that does exist is filled with misperceptions of Muslim homogeneity, and fails to recognize the Muslim American population’s rich diversity in terms of race and ethnicity, levels of religiosity, religious sect, and sexual orientation. “When it comes to recruiting Muslim research participants, a one size fits all approach won’t work. You can’t just go to the mosque and expect to find a representative sample of participants,” Zahra shared. Rather, it’s important to tailor recruitment methods to the characteristics and interests of the targeted population. This involves partnering with community leaders to learn about that community’s needs, attending social and religious community events, and becoming involved with national Muslim organizations that have a broad network and reach.

In her presentation, Zahra offered practical approaches to reaching even the most marginalized Muslim populations, including LGBTQ and Black Muslims, who frequently experience microaggressions and discrimination from non-Muslims as well as from those within their own faith community. Zahra’s recommendations focused on establishing trust, maintaining cultural humility, being sensitive to the needs of the community, and giving back to the community – methods that should be the hallmark of all scientific research, regardless of the population in question.

See Zahra’s presentation below:

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