Our proposed project, Training Promotoras/Community Health Workers using Culturally and Linguistically- Appropriate Research Best Practices, has the objective to develop, demonstrate, and disseminate culturally and linguistically sensitive training to improve the translation of clinical research in underserved communities. This project is a partnership between CTSAs at the University of Michigan, University of Florida, and University of California-Davis, three CTSA hubs with a network of community partners in diverse areas with large numbers of Hispanic and African American individuals. Community health workers (CHWs), embedded leaders within underserved communities, have an important role supporting research at community sites and are increasingly being incorporated into research teams for their ability to reduce barriers in translation, particularly in regards to research on health disparities. However, problems with CHWs understanding and application of research best practices exist. Training for CHWs in research best practices is variable, not tailored to the research role of CHWs, and not designed to train individuals who work in culturally or linguistically diverse communities. These training deficits hamper formation of integrated teams of researchers and community partners and miss the opportunity to create research advocates at community sites. Our foundational work involved the development of the first-of-its-kind, competency-based online training in Social and Behavioral Research Best Practices for clinical research professionals, currently being disseminated nationally. A critical need still exists to adapt and broaden training of the CHW workforce to reduce barriers in research translation in underserved communities. To address this need, we propose development of a culturally and linguistically sensitive online research best practices course to train CHW ?Champions? and a community-academic partnership model to deliver a mentored, peer-led program at community sites to provide competency-based research best practices education for community partners. Our long-term goal is to train CHWs using a competency-based, culturally and linguistically sensitive training program that includes easily-accessible online training resources available in both English and Spanish for use by research teams and CHWs. Our diverse group of stakeholders including CHWs, promotoras, clinical research professionals, community members, and regional and national leaders in organizations representing CHWs and researchers will ensure representation of many perspectives in all aspects of project development and dissemination.
Our specific aims are to 1) develop and evaluate a research best practices online course for CHWs, 2) demonstrate effectiveness of research best practices training for CHWs at community sites, and 3) disseminate the course throughout the CTSA consortium and beyond.

Public Health Relevance

Failure to translate evidence from clinical research into underserved communities results from inadequate engagement of community members in research. Community health workers make important contributions to the success of research at community sites because of their understanding of socio-economic and cultural factors of the community members they serve; however, issues in training community health workers in research best practices exist and hamper the ability of community health workers to optimally support research implementation at community sites. This project aims to develop, demonstrate, and disseminate research best practices training for community health workers which 1) addresses the need to increase research competence of this workforce 2) empowers community members and 3) facilitates the relevant, well-conducted research needed to impact health in underserved areas such as diverse, minority, and Spanish-speaking communities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZTR1)
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Chang, Soju
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Physical Medicine & Rehab
Schools of Medicine
Ann Arbor
United States
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