NICHD STRIVE for Change

Including target population in research planning: improving validity and scalability

Description :

Any research efforts should include members of target community and their families in the early planning, especially with respect to proposed recruitment, information-gathering, treatment strategies (if appropriate), and analysis. The use of focus groups and consultants will improve the validity and scalability of the research findings. And finally, the ultimate research findings should be shared with those who participated in the studies as subjects. This not only honors their efforts as participants but also helps build trust with the broader target community.

1. What obstacles impede advancing health disparities research for NICHD populations?

Researchers may have only a limited appreciation of the real-life issues of their target populations, especially fixating on outcomes within specific academic disciplines. Traditional academic outcome measures and assessments may look good in research journals but may fall short in reflecting the diverse aspirations and needs of the target population.

2.What innovative or novel approaches to research could be leveraged to mitigate health disparities in NICHD populations?

Researchers need to be aware of the personal, family, and community resources that may be available to their target population and to propose support and treatment approaches that are practical and scalable, especially with respect to current healthcare and broader economic constraints and possible cultural barriers. However, their may also be unique community supports or opportunities that can be leveraged.

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Idea No. 201