Reducing Disparities by way of a Cancer Disparities Research Training Program
Source:J Health Dispar Res Pract. 9(3):103-114.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC5055064
Funding:R01 CA166785/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
United States NCI/United States
UL1 TR000454/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
S21 MD000101/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
R25 CA136438/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
U58 DP005945/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
For minority populations, there is a continuing disparity in the burden of death and illness from cancer. Research to address this disparity should be conducted by investigators who can best understand and address the needs of culturally diverse communities. However, minorities are under-represented in health-related research. The goal of this project was to develop and evaluate an approach to motivating and preparing master’s degree students for careers dedicated to cancer disparities research.
A Cancer Disparities Research Training Program (CDRTP) was initiated in 2010. The program consists of coursework, practicum experiences, and research opportunities. Assessment of the curriculum is based on monitoring achievement of evaluation indicators and included a mixed-method approach with included both quantitative and qualitative approach.
In its first three years, the program graduated 20 trainees, all of whom were minorities (18 African Americans and two Asians). When asked about career goals, two-thirds of the trainees indicated interest in pursuing careers in research in cancer prevention and control. The trainees expressed high satisfaction with the courses, instructor, materials, and curriculum. Although trainees had suggestions about course details, evaluations overall were positive. Across focus groups, three recurrent themes emerged regarding activities to enhance the trainee experience: having a wider variety of topics, more guest speakers, and field trips.
The CDRTP was intended to recruit students – primarily African Americans – into research on prevention and control of cancer disparities. Although final evaluation of the program’s overall outcome will not be available for several years, this preliminary evaluation indicates early program success.
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