RESEARCH METHODS CORE ABSTRACT The Native Center for Alcohol Research and Education (NCARE) Research Methods Core is devoted to optimizing alcohol use disorder research in American Indian and Alaska Native populations (AI/AN). Successful alcohol intervention studies require designs with measurable, achievable objectives; adequate funding and efficient resource allocation; culturally appropriate implementation; and regular evaluation. In Native communities, such work requires a rich evidence base informed by state-of-the-art science and grounded in the day-to-day experience and culture of AI/AN people. The goals of this Core are to maximize efficient use of study resources by standardizing measurement and data analysis across all 3 Research Projects; to optimize internal and external study validity; and to ensure the relevance of inferential analyses for healthcare providers, policymakers, community leaders, and other stakeholders working to ameliorate AUD-related disparities for AI/ANs. Core members will work closely with the Principal Investigator and research teams on all aspects of study design, sample selection, measurement, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination of findings. Our transdisciplinary approach integrates diverse methods from epidemiology and causal inference theory, biostatistics, medicine, clinical trials, health services, policy, and health economics. We augment this expertise with exceptional experience in qualitative methods.
Our Specific Aims are to: 1) Apply state-of-the-art research designs and sampling strategies to the study of AUD disparities in AI/ANs. This work includes ensuring the reliability and validity of all study measures, efficiently using NCARE resources to manualize operations, designing effective questionnaires and data collection methods, managing data, conducting statistical analyses, integrating qualitative and quantitative methods, and preparing data for dissemination to scientific and lay audiences; 2) Provide support and mentoring in research methods to recipients of Pilot Project funding and to NCARE Fellows, with the latter group?s research occurring within a structured career development program; and 3) Perform systematic health economics evaluations of the proposed Research Projects, focusing on the short- and long-term cost-effectiveness of alcohol use disorder-related health interventions. This Core will maximize scientific rigor while accommodating the logistical and methodological challenges that arise in real-world research endeavors. Our experienced team can facilitate the simplest possible analysis to answer each Research Project?s scientific questions, but it can also apply complex designs and analytic tools as appropriate, and will communicate results to audiences with varying levels of quantitative training. Our analysts complement their methodological expertise with a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges of health research with Native communities.