Design and Evaluation of an Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Research Curriculum.
BACKGROUND: Disparities in health and healthcare are widely documented for underrepresented racial and ethnic populations across a spectrum of diseases and care settings. An evidence base for addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health and healthcare requires investigators trained to conduct health disparities research. OBJECTIVE: To increase knowledge, stimulate interest, teach skills to evaluate and conduct, and foster collaborations in health disparities research. DESIGN: We designed, implemented and evaluated a Health Disparities Research Curriculum (HDRC). Participants were early-stage investigators. INTERVENTION: HDRC included twelve monthly sessions during 2015-2016. Instructors were mostly HDR investigators. Sessions combined didactic presentations, discussions, small group activities, and participant presentations. MEASURES: Pre- and post-surveys to assess participants' perceptions of knowledge and skills. RESULTS: Of 21 enrollees, 13 were from under-represented groups and 14 were women. Four reported some prior training in HDR, and 12 reported currently conducting HDR. Among the 12 participants who completed both the pre and post HDRC survey, initially the most commonly cited barriers to pursuing HDR were lack of knowledge (N = 6) and funding (N = 7). In the post-survey, the number citing lack of knowledge decreased (N = 2) and the number listing lack of funding increased (N = 9). There were increases in the number of participants reporting increased knowledge of HDR methods (pre-post: 4 vs. 8) and competence to design (3 vs. 7) and implement (2 vs. 9) HDR research. CONCLUSIONS: The Duke HDRC augments efforts to reduce health disparities by providing training in HDR for young investigators. Our data indicate that the course was feasible, well-received, and increased perceived knowledge and competence. HDRC and similar courses may increase the quantity, quality and scope of HDR and thus move us closer to health equity.
Johnson, KS; Thomas, KL; Pinheiro, SO; Svetkey, LP
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