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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Georgia Southern: Engaging Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease in Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Developing innovative strategies to engage patients as research partners is a priority in efforts to reduce health disparities in underserved communities. We describe the development and implementation of a training model to prepare Community Health Ambassadors (CHAs) to serve as liaisons to engage individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) in patient-centered outcomes research. We trained CHAs on research guidelines, human subjects’ protection, and SCD self-management. Community Health Ambassadors then employed community-level strategies to engage individuals with SCD and their families (N=432) residing in rural and urban communities throughout Tennessee. By engaging the SCD community, CHAs identified areas of burden for self-management and patient preferred strategies to engage members of underserved minority groups in research. This community-based training model, which places CHAs as liaisons between researchers and the community, holds promise for scaling-up for replication and implementation in studies seeking to engage underserved populations with a chronic disease in health research.

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