The immediate goal of the proposed research is to investigate factors that may contribute to functional limitations and disability in African America women (AAW) 60-85 years of age, focusing specifically on older AAW with osteoarthritis (OA). The broader long-term goal is to provide data that will inform the development of interventions to decrease functional limitations and disability rates in AAW;although current research has addressed factors in the disablement of Mexican American and non-Hispanic White women, research on the disablement process in AAW is lacking. The possible predictors of function and disability include psychosocial (trust in health care providers), environmental (racial discrimination in health care and health care access), and biological (age and body mass index) factors.
The specific aims of this research are therefore: (1) to describe the relationship between biological, psychosocial, and environmental factors and function and disability in AAW 60-85 years of age with OA;(2) to identify predictors of function in AAW 60-85 years of age with OA;and (3) to identify predictors of disability in AAW 60-85 years of age with OA. Data will be collected via questionnaires that can be mailed in. The instruments used will include demographic data, the Experiences of Discrimination Instrument, the Trust in Phrygians Scale, the Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems Survey, the Multidimensional Health Assessment Questionnaire, and the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique. Analyses will consist of Pearson correlations, and multiple and hierarchical regressions.
This research addresses a public health priority. It is consistent with the National Institute of Health's mission to decrease burdens of disability (NIH, 2011), and with the public health initiative proposed by the Centers for Disease Control (2010) and the Arthritis Foundation (2010) to reduce racial and ethnic disparities resulting from the burden of OA. In addition, included in the mission of the NINR (2008) is the goal of decreasing disability rates, and the NINR's strategic plan recommends investments in research that seeks to eliminate health disparities by exploring biological, environmental, and social factors that may influence health outcomes.