Background: The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its related risk factors in the United States varies across population subgroups and geographic areas, with the highest prevalence being in the Central Appalachian region. While research to understand the problem and identify evidence-based medical practices and policies/programs to address the problem is sparse, national and statewide policies/programs that have contributed to the decline in overall prevalence of CVD over the past decades have not had a similar effect on the population in Central Appalachia. Thus, this project aims to explore the priorities for a CVD research agenda for Central Appalachia with patients/caregivers, medical/healthcare providers, and other stakeholders.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: An interdisciplinary project team will adopt a multisectoral approach to convene conferences of CVD patients/caregivers and stakeholders to identify research priorities and region-specific evidence-based medical care practices and policies/programs, and to generate research questions and hypotheses pertinent to the Central Appalachian population. As such, patients/caregivers and other stakeholders will guide the design, implementation, and dissemination of a CVD research agenda for the region.
- Understand the CVD outcomes, its risk factors, and interventions that patients/caregivers and stakeholders in Central Appalachia would like to see prioritized in a CVD research agenda
- Identify and understand unique issues of access to and utilization of health services among CVD patients that need to be incorporated in a research agenda
- Identify research needs and generate research questions and hypotheses to support CVD research development for the Central Appalachian region
Activities: Environmental scan, focus group discussions, surveys, and key informant interviews will be conducted to inform the discussion of the CVD research agenda during two conferences. Meetings with patients/caregivers and key stakeholders will be documented throughout the project period.
Outcomes and Outputs (projected):
- Year 1: Report preliminary results from the quantitative and qualitative data, records of meetings, completion and submission of a manuscript for publication, and creation of website and social media accounts for the dissemination of project information.
- Year 2: The CVD research agenda for Central Appalachia will be finalized. Additionally, analysis of documents and data will be completed for writing reports and manuscripts.
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Patients/caregivers, health systems, physicians and other healthcare providers, payers, health departments, advocacy groups, and policy makers will be involved in all aspects of research agenda development process.
Project Collaborators: ETSU College of Public Health (departments of Health Services Management and Policy, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Community and Behavioral Health), ETSU College of Medicine (ETSU Cardiology Services), Tennessee Public Health Institute, Cumberland Marketing, Karing Hearts Cardiology, Wellmont Health System (CVA Heart Institute), Mountain States Health Alliance, Tennessee Department of Health, and Mended Heart.