Older adults, particularly those in disadvantaged, underserved minority groups, have historically been underrepresented in research due to a variety of factors including distrust of the research community, historical mistreatment in biomedical research contexts, and importantly, lack of understanding/knowledge about the research process. The primary aim of the proposed project, Developing a Research Participation Enhancement and Advocacy Training Program for Diverse Seniors (DREAMS), is to prepare diverse seniors to serve as advocates on research advisory boards across disciplines and research fields. Using a two-part educational intervention focused on diverse, underrepresented older adults, we aim to
- build trust and rapport between older adults and researchers,
- provide a pool of interested, educated applicants for the crucial role of patient advocate in PCOR, and
- increase opportunities for diverse seniors to exert influence, participate, and collaborate in all phases of the research process.
The projected output from this project is educating diverse seniors about clinical research and preparing them to engage in PCOR as educated research partners and research advisory board advocates across disciplines.
Project collaborators include the Emory Center for Health and Aging; Atlanta VAMC Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Research; Birmingham/Atlanta VA Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center; Atlanta Regional Geriatric Education Center; John A. Hartford Foundation; and patient stakeholder advisors.