Given the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer?s disease and related dementia (ADRD) in the United States and the quickly growing population of older Chinese Americans, many older Chinese Americans are expected to need intensive care because of cognitive impairment. Few interventions have been designed to address caregiver needs among Chinese Americans, despite previous studies showing critical issues of poverty, low acculturation, and poor mental health in this population, the largest group of Asian Americans. A large gap exists in development of culturally sensitive interventions to reduce stress among caregivers in Chinese American communities. This Research Career Development Award (K01) will give Dr. Liu the training, mentoring, and skills necessary to conduct intervention research to reduce the burden of dementia care among Chinese American families. The proposed mentored research activities for this K01 award involve developing and pilot testing a culturally sensitive intervention, the Peer Mentoring Program (PMP). Informed by the sociocultural stress and coping model, the PMP will build human resources among experiential Chinese caregivers to provide mentoring support for newer caregivers in the same ethnic community. This K01 application is responsive to NIA Research Goal E: ?Improve our ability to reduce health disparities and eliminate health inequities among older adults.? It is also consistent with the National Alzheimer?s Project Act?s efforts to ensure receipt of culturally sensitive education, training, and support materials; involve more racially and ethnically diverse older adults in research; and develop effective services to support ethnically diverse families. To become an independent investigator in behavioral intervention research, Dr. Liu will receive training and mentoring in three areas: (a) knowledge of ADRD, interventions for caregivers, and dementia caregiving; (b) methodological skills to conduct community-based participatory research; and (c) theoretical and methodological skills to design and conduct scientifically rigorous intervention research. Mentored research training will occur in the context of a focused research project with three aims: (1) study the challenges and enablers of successful caregiving for persons with ADRD in the Chinese American communities of New York City; (2) develop a culturally sensitive volunteering intervention (PMP) to reduce stress and improve well-being of Chinese dementia caregivers; and (3) obtain preliminary data on feasibility and acceptability of the PMP. By the end of the K01 award, Dr. Liu will complete the transition from observational and explanatory to community-based intervention work and submit an R01 proposal and several manuscripts based on the study results for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The strong mentoring team, well-established collaborative relationships with community organizations in New York City, and marvelous academic resources at Columbia University will provide a supportive and enriching environment that will empower Dr. Liu to become a successful and independent investigator in behavioral intervention research.
Although many older Chinese Americans are expected to need intensive care because of cognitive impairment, a large gap exists in development of culturally sensitive interventions to reduce stress among caregivers in Chinese American communities. This proposed project will develop and pilot test a culturally sensitive intervention, the peer mentoring program (PMP), which is informed by the sociocultural stress and coping model. This project will generate preliminary data for a larger randomized controlled trial for efficacy or effectiveness testing of PMP, which is an innovative intervention to support dementia among Chinese Americans, by empowering the existing human resources of experiential caregivers in the same ethnic community.