Background: Over 3 million refugees have been admitted to the US. Resettled refugees experience substantial disparities in their physical and mental health. While there are short-term and locally focused models of engaging refugees in health research, no national long-term models for refugee engagement in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) exist.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: The project team proposes to expand national capacity for PCOR and comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) in which resettled refugees and researchers can partner equally to ensure research is responsive, relevant, and generalizable to refugee communities. Enhancing Capacity of Resettled Refugee Researchers (ENCORE) seeks to increase the capacity of refugees and refugee community stakeholders to participate in PCOR.
The project aims to:
- Develop a sustainable Resettled Refugee Review Board to advise and engage in health outcomes research conducted by the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers (SRHP) members.
- Build capacity for partnered PCOR research between Board members and SRHP members.
- Build the capacity of Board members as national/international research leaders. The Board will codevelop and complete training to become co-creators of the refugee health discipline and develop a train-the-trainer model for supporting refugee engagement in health research in SRHP members’ communities.
Activities: First, the project team will conduct a strategic planning process for the Board, including recruitment of new members, mission and vision setting, development of operating principles, and development of short- and long-term goals for the Board.
Second, the project team will conduct a needs assessment about the skills and knowledge needed for Board and SRHP members to partner in PCOR and delivery training targeted to the highest need among both groups.
Third, the project team will assess the needs of refugee partners in communities for training and capacity as research partners, adapt existing resources for refugee health, and develop a train-the-trainer model for the Board to deliver and support local partners in growing as research partners.
Projected Outcomes and Outputs: The project team will establish a sustainable Board of resettled refugees with capacity as research advisors and partners and prepare to partner with SRHP members, create a Research Partnership Curriculum tailored for resettled refugees and researchers working with refugees, and develop infrastructure to support stakeholder-engaged PCOR nationally with a train-the-trainer model. The infrastructure created through the ENCORE project will result in improved representation of refugee experience in refugee health research projects. We also anticipate the Resettled Refugee Review Board will be able to implement the train-the-trainer model, increasing capacity for PCOR research on refugee health nationally.
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The ENCORE project will engage resettled refugees and researchers through the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers and the extended networks of its membership. Resettled Refugee Board members will be engaged in project activities at least monthly. SRHP members, especially the Research, Evaluation and Ethics Committee members, will also be engaged regularly in training and advising activities.
Project Collaborators: This project will be led by Dr. Brewer at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and conducted primarily through the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers. Project team members and engaged stakeholders will represent organizations and institutions across the US.