The Schools of Medicine and Nursing of the University of Pennsylvania propose a new Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR): """"""""Reducing Health Disparities Across the Stages of Illness in Older Minority Populations with Chronic Disease."""""""" The RCMAR will collaborate with community stakeholders through established research partnerships, and with internal and external institutions and programs that have an established track record of interdisciplinary, health disparities and aging research, and experience mentoring junior investigators and minority investigators. The proposed Center activities are contained in four cores: Administrative, Investigator Development, Community Liaison, and Measurement. The investigator core faculty are leaders in disparities and aging research in the clinical, social, behavioral, epidemiology, and health services fields. The Measurement Core faculty provide consultative expertise in an array of methodological issues pertinent to disparities research: data collection (qualitative and mixed methods) and instrument development, study design and sampling, secondary data analysis, and translation of evidence to communities through participatory research partnerships. The Community Liaison Core will advance the science of community engagement in research, inclusive of but not restricted to recruitment. The principal goals of the Penn RCMAR are to: 1) Conduct research across the stages of chronic illness with the aim of improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities in minority older adults.
We aim to specify and evaluate diverse variables (individual, social, economic, health systems, family, and community) and their relationship to health care delivery (access and quality) and health outcomes across various stages of illness;2) Design and test interventions at the patient, provider, organizational, and environmental levels that reduce health disparities in minority older adults;3) Train and mentor diverse investigators to undertake health disparities research in these populations;4) Prepare a wide range of community organizations and stakeholders to participate actively in the design and conduct of research and the dissemination of results. The RCMAR is characterized by an interdisciplinary senior faculty, and prominent minority leadership and participation. In year one, four pilots are proposed in the local community: 1) perceived future needs for transition to a nursing home, 2) spirituality in persons with hypertension, 3) exercise post breast cancer treatment, and 4) sleep perception and significance. Each project investigative team combines faculty from medicine and nursing, and combines a junior trainee and a senior faculty.
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