Project Summary

Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. African Americans and other racial and ethnic minority groups are at higher risk for T2D and its complications compared to non-Hispanic whites. At the same time, African Americans are underrepresented in clinical research, including diabetes research. 

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The project team proposes a community-based participatory research approach through partnership with the West Greenville Health Council (WGHC), a community-academic partnership rooted in the principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and clinicians primarily in the family medicine department at East Carolina University. 

Objectives: The long-term goal of this project is to develop the process and capacity among patients, caregivers, community stakeholders, researchers, physicians, and clinical staff to conduct research that is clinically relevant, feasible in practice, meaningful and acceptable to patients, and scalable throughout the Brody School of Medicine (BSOM) system. 

The project’s specific aims are to: 

  • Create an advisory group, primarily, although not exclusively, affiliated with the ECU BSOM Department of Family Medicine diabetes clinics. 
  • Use a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to develop an engagement plan; engage these stakeholders in the co-design of the total research process, from articulation of the research question through evaluation and dissemination of results. 
  • Evaluate the process, resources, and tools for scaling up the project BSOM-wide. 

Activities: The project team proposes three phases of activity. In Phase I, a core advisory group examines the literature and existing resources to recommend the outline of an engagement plan. In Phase II, the core advisory group is expanded to include additional patient and other stakeholders. This group will refine the engagement plan through training in CBPR, research, and diabetes and general discussion. In Phase III, the group will develop a research agenda and primary research question and design. Evaluation, an overarching activity, will take place throughout the project period. 

Project Primary Outcome: The project’s primary outcome will be a sustainable patient engagement plan for ECU’s Family Medicine diabetes research programs that has been evaluated for fit with other clinical research programs at ECU. 

Other Outcomes: 

  • Increased awareness of patient-engaged research throughout the BSOM system. 
  • Increased willingness to participate in patient-engaged research among physicians in the BSOM system. 
  • Increased capacity within the BSOM system to conduct patient-engaged research. 
  • Patient-centered outcomes resaerch (PCOR) diabetes research agenda. 
  • Primary diabetes-focused PCOR research question and preliminary design. 

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Project stakeholders include patients, their caregivers, community members and advocates, family medicine clinicians, and others from internal medicine and pediatrics. Meetings will occur monthly and include three workshops in CBPR/PCOR, research, and diabetes.
Project Collaborators: Greenville Housing Authority; Churches Outreach Network; Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Community Center; George Washington Carver Library; West Greenville Community Consortium; Pitt County Health Department; Pitt Partners for Health

Project Information

Nancy Winterbauer, MS, PhD
Shivajirao Patil, MPH, MD
East Carolina University

Key Dates

December 2021


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 3, 2024