Background: Members of the LGBTQ+ community as well as Black and Indigenous people of color, or queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) experience increased risk of poor mental health. To best address these risks, it is important for QTPOC to be involved in helping to develop research that can improve mental health care and the quality of life for QTPOC.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: The project team will bring together QTPOC (patients) with researchers and clinical service providers (stakeholders) to identify the needs, priorities, and barriers to quality mental health care for QTPOC. Patients and stakeholders will work together to learn about current research efforts and what it means to engage in patient-centered outcomes research/comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) and will develop strategies to build trusting relationships between the stakeholder groups.
Objective 1: Form a learning collaborative allowing QTPOC communities (patient-stakeholders) and researchers and clinicians (stakeholders) to participate in trainings and strategic planning sessions to encourage and engage QTPOC in relevant PCOR/CER.
Objective 2: Identify the positive and negative practices that affect a trusting relationship between patients and stakeholders through learning collaborative meetings.
Objective 3: Build a resource repository of patient-stakeholders and stakeholder groups who are willing to inform and engage in PCOR/CER research activities specifically focused on QTPOC.
Activities: The learning collaborative will meet on 12 occasions during the award period. The meetings will include training and discussion about current research and research practices, as well as the mental health needs and care practices that may be successful in improving mental health outcomes for QTPOC. All patient and provider stakeholders will have an equal voice at the table and be part of the planning for all project activities.
- Create a learning collaborative between QTPOC and research communities
- Conduct discussions focused on bridging research gaps in vulnerable populations
- Identify key research priorities for QTPOC PCOR/CER
- Produce a listing of resources that will assist stakeholders in implementing decisions made by the learning collaborative
- Produce a PCOR/CER support framework to give key information to researchers and research participants
- Identify research methods that provide opportunities to build trust and promote engagement between QTPOC and research communities
- Address research gaps and opportunities through PCOR/CER-based discussions and building relational capacity for PCOR/CER in the QTPOC community
- Use knowledge gained from learning collaborative meetings to create strategic PCOR/CER plans informed by QTPOC
- Determine best practices and strategies for engaging QTPOC in mental health PCOR/CER through funded PCOR/CER studies
- Determine effective therapies to address the mental health needs of QTPOC through PCOR/CER published studies
- Have an informed and engaged QTPOC community that is knowledgeable about research and opportunities to remain engaged in ongoing research to address needs as they change over time
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Partner organizations will outreach through their networks to inform and encourage membership in our learning collaborative. The project team has intentionally chosen project partners who are trusted agencies that represent QTPOC.
Project Collaborators: Current project partners include the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, a research team at the University of Missouri-St. Louis focused on improving mental health services for all individuals; The SPOT St. Louis, a local agency that provides medical and mental health services to youth and young adults aged 13-24 and works with vulnerable populations; and Williams and Associates, a nonprofit organization in St. Louis that delivers programs and services including health education workshops, HIV/STI prevention, violence prevention, and LGBTQ sensitivity.