This application aims to set the foundation for a longitudinal population-based study of relevant health issues in older Chinese persons by leveraging a comprehensive model of community engagement. The diverse US population is rapidly aging;as such, it is imperative from a public health perspective that we have accurate understanding of relevant health issues among specific racial/ethnic populations. There are an estimated 3.8 million Chinese in the US, and Chicago has one of the largest aggregations. Despite the rapid growth, we have the most rudimentary understanding of many critical health issues facing the older Chinese population (cognitive impairment, physical disability, racial discrimination, psychological distress, social isolation, filial piety, cultural values, and elder mistreatment [elder abuse, neglect and exploitation perpetrated by others as well as elder self-neglect]. Furthermore, there has been inadequate community network and support necessary to empower the Chinese community to be fully engaged in health sciences research. These impediments necessitate the further development and implementation of sustainable and equal partnership of both community and researchers through reciprocal transfer of expertise to improve the health of the Chinese population. Several challenges to conducting a community-engaged population study in a Chicago Chinese population make the proposed developmental work an important first step to conducting a longitudinal population-based cohort study. These challenges are: 1) US Chinese older persons have been reluctant to participate in government sponsored research and sustainable community support has been inadequate;2) there is incomplete enumeration at the local level of Chinese older persons in the community;and 3) there are marked linguistic and cultural barriers that make a population-based study challenging. In this proposed work, a bilingual and bicultural principal investigator and an experienced interdisciplinary investigative team at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging are collaborating with Chinese community to overcome these barriers.
The specific aims of this feasibility study are to: 1) Further engage the community to build a culturally appropriate and sustainable collaborative partnership in support of the study;2) Pilot a random block census of older Chinatown residents;and 3) Examine the linguistic and cultural barriers of studying relevant health disparity issues. The findings from this proposal and community engagement activities can be critical to the successful conduct of a community-engaged longitudinal population-based study of relevant health issues in Chinese older persons.

Public Health Relevance

This application aims to build comprehensive community network and support in Chicago Chinatown community, to conduct a pilot census of the Chinatown community, and to examine the linguistic and cultural issues facing older Chinese population. This information is critical for the future conduct of a community- engaged longitudinal population-based study of relevant health issues in older Chinese persons.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
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Spotts, Erica L
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Rush University Medical Center
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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