This application for the NRSA to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research requests support for an under- represented minority predoctoral trainee in a proposal for a training and research program that will propel the applicant toward a career as an independent investigator in minority mental health research. The applicant has an MA in psychology, extensive clinical research experience, and an outstanding academic record. She is currently in her second year at a top-rated clinical psychology training program at the University of Washington, the highest federally research-funded public institution in the U.S. Her sponsor, Dr, Jane Simoni, is an experienced NIMH-funded researcher who has successfully sponsored 4 other NRSA-funded fellows and has a Mid-Career Development Award to support her mentoring activities for this proposed award. Moreover, the applicant has assembled an a team of experts in the areas of HIV patient care (Dr. Hongzhou Lu), intervention development (Dr. Xiaoming Li), and statistical methodology (Dr. Kevin King) to support her in achieving the fellowship goals. The training plan involves coursework, mentorship, and clinical skills addressing her goals of acquiring proficiency in culturally specific intervention development, qualitative research methodology, advanced statistical techniques, and a diverse teaching portfolio, allowing the applicant to develop the expertise and professional connections necessary to become an innovative and independent researcher. In the applicant's prior work with her sponsor, she has been conducting formative work to prepare for the research proposed.
The aims of the proposed research are to (1) analyze qualitative and quantitative data that the applicant and her sponsor previously collected in PLWHA in Beijing, (2) develop a culturally specific distress-reduction intervention aimed for parents living with HIV/AIDS in China, and (3) pilot test the intervention for acceptability, feasibility and preliminary efficacy. Such psychosocial interventions are desperately needed to address the acute psychiatric distress of recently diagnosed PLWHA in settings like China with high HIV stigma and little or no access to qualified mental health professionals. Via an existing research infrastructure that the applicant and her sponsor have developed at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center (SPHCC), the assembly of an expert advisory committee, and her lab's on-going program of research at SPHCC, the applicant is well suited to successfully complete the proposed training and research goals.
This is an application for the NRSA to support an under-represented minority predoctoral trainee in her pursuit of an academic career as an independent investigator in minority mental health research. It will fund her training in a broad range of courses and activities, including a research project to design and evaluate a brief psychosocial intervention to reduce HIV- and disclosure-related distress among parents living with HIV/AIDS in settings with few mental health resources. The proposed research directly addresses a top priority of NIMH's Division of AIDS Research, i.e. to assess psychiatric consequences of HIV in international and resource poor settings, and provides the applicant with the critical training necessary to achieve her career goals.