This project will entail partnering with representatives of Wisconsin tribal and ethnic/racial minority groups in a study designed to identify and enhance participation in biomarker research. Biomarkers research relies upon the collection of bodily fluids such as blood or cerebrospinal fluid, tissue, functional or structural imaging. It is particularly important to engage tribal, immigrant and minority populations in these studies since these groups bear a disproportionate burden of chronic disease and disability. The failure to engage such groups in biomarker research actually serves to increase health disparity 'gaps'by failing to identify the causes of risk differences and mediating/moderating effects of environmental, socioeconomic and behavioral variables on health outcomes. We will use a community based participatory research (CBPR) approach to identify and address the barriers to biomarker study participation. Using a mixed methods approach based on a health services utilization framework, community-academic research teams will examine barriers and facilitators to participation in biomarker research projects for Alzheimer's, pulmonary and cardiovascular disease and cancer. This framework, based on the Theory of Planned Behavior/Reasoned Action (TPB) and Andersen's health behavior mode (HBM), has been used to examine willingness to participate in cancer clinical trials. It focuses on the cognitive factors that effect behavioral intentions (the decision to participate). The findings of these teams will serve to inform the development of culturally tailored educational materials that will be piloted to examine whether/how intent to participate in biomarker research can be measured. Our activities in whole are designed to bring visibility to and increase participation of minority and medically underserved individuals in biomarker studies.
The current literature suggests that the use of biomarkers may lead to major changes in the prevention and management of many chronic diseases;however, the recent literature also notes that the majority of these studies are based on persons of European ancestry. Such lack of inclusion of diverse participants raises concerns about the shortage of information about other ancestry and ethnic groups and the ability to identify and examine variability associated with ancestry, race, ethnicity and culture. This study proposes to investigate contributory factors to the current lack of minority participation.
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