Newly Funded Research Projects
July 2016: GHUCCTS Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program – Faith Based Mental Health Promotion to Address Black Youth Mental Health Disparities
In July of 2016, The AAKOMA Project received funding from GHUCCTS to focus on quantifying our strategic methods for engaging African Americans in clinical research for youth mental health. The project is an outgrowth of our long standing work in the AAKOMA Lab with Black communities in general and Black faith communities specifically. We are excited about this new project and we look forward to presenting our results in the coming months.
May 2016: Building Capacity and Reducing Barriers to the Inclusion of Underserved Black Youth and Families for Mental Health Patient Centered Outcomes Research
This is a newly funded project under the PCORI Pipeline to Proposal Tier II Award mechanism. The focus of this effort is to continue our built relationships with patients, stakeholders and communities in the Washington, DC area to support PCOR and Comparative Effectiveness Research with African Americans Our focus is on depression related to trauma exposure in youth. We host monthly team meetings and we have recently developed subcommittees to expand our work throughout the DMV.
December 2015: GHUCCTS Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program – Collaborating with African American/Black Faith Communities to Improve Engagement in Mental Health Comparative Effectiveness Research
The AAKOMA Project is very pleased to announce this newly funded study supported by the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) an NIH CTSA funded center. Our partnered study (in collaboration with investigators from Howard University and DC faith based organizations) is focused on using a proof-of-concept approach to quantify and evaluate Faith Based Mental Health Promotion (FBMHP) practices for engaging African Americans/Blacks in mental health Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR).
July 2015: Engaging Black Faith Communities to Address Mental Health Disparities via Curriculum Development
Via the PCORI Eugene Washington Engagement Award, our program team of a medical center researcher, a faith community leader and a community mental health advocate, will employ our knowledge of African American culture and our outreach, research and clinical experiences to partner with faith communities, patients and stakeholders to empower them to conduct Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) and Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) for youth mental illness. Based on our conversations with stakeholders and patients, we believe that our initial step toward this long-term goal should be aligned the PCORI mission. Therefore, we will engage our stakeholders to assist us in 1) understanding the gaps in African Americans’ knowledge about CER and PCOR in mental health and 2) designing a curriculum to address these gaps. Our engagement project is designed to increase the capacity of faith communities, youth and stakeholders to lead, design and conduct their own PCOR and CER studies.
The community partners on this award include Rev. Dr. Jalene Chase-Sands of DC and Mrs. H. Kathy Williams of NC.
May 2015: Building Capacity and Reducing Barriers to the Inclusion of Underserved Black Youth and Families for Mental Health Patient Centered Outcomes Research
This is a newly funded project under the PCORI Pipeline to Proposal Tier I Award mechanism. The focus of this effort is to build relationships with patients, stakeholders and communities in the Washington, DC area to support future PCOR and Comparative Effectiveness Research with African Americans and Blacks.
The Community Lead/Collaborator for this effort is Rev. Dr. Jalene Chase-Sands of Balance and Life Ministries, LLC
Ongoing: Efficacy RCT of culturally relevant treatment engagement intervention for depressed African American youth and families
Our proposed work focuses on a continuation of our pilot research derived from my NIH K award study (#MH073814), “Barriers to Research and Care in African American Youth” My research team and I utilized mixed methods to develop and test a new intervention focused on depression treatment engagement for African American adolescents within a CBPR framework. In the study, we identified factors associated with participation in research and treatment and used this data to develop and pilot test my depression treatment engagement intervention based on Motivational Interviewing (most of our findings have been published – click here to see a list). Currently, our efforts are focused on expanding the pilot study to an efficacy trial to examine the feasibility and acceptability of our intervention for a socioeconomically diverse sample of African Americans.
Faith Based Health Promotion Projects
Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) www.georgetownhowardctsa.org
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND RESEARCH (CER) COMMUNITY-ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIPS MINI GRANT AWARDS: the First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville, MD (FUMC) we were recently awarded a grant to build our CBPR partnership with a focus on Mental Health Stigma reduction and treatment engagement using Faith Based Health Promotion. Recently completed efforts on this project include a joint mixed methods data analysis co-led by community partners and a professional poster presentation at the Minority Health and Health Disparities Grantees’ Conference in National Harbor, MD in December 2014.
The FUMC leaders and members of the Georgetown University Research Assistant Team serve as collaborators on this project.
Elucidating the Relationship Between Spirituality, Religion, Culture & Treatment Engagement for Depressed African American Youth: African Americans’ perspectives on the relationship between culture, spirituality, depression and depression treatment engagement with African American youth and families utilizing data from The AAKOMA Project. To date, we have described both the role and structure of integrating the African American faith communities into clinical work and Faith Based Health Promotion research with African Americans (Odulana et al., 2012). Our symposia and manuscript focused on a secondary analysis of our mixed method data collected from 56 AAKOMA Project participants. We have presented the salient themes derived from a rigorous qualitative data analytic process to describe participants’ impressions of and experiences with adolescent depression, culture, religion and spirituality. In addition to the salient themes, our results include original participant quotes and implications for future research and clinical practice with African American youth and families. We believe that findings can serve as a model for similar research with other underserved populations.
Members of the Georgetown University Research Assistant Team and external trainees serve as collaborators on this project.
Book on African American Youth Mental Health published in 2016! A unique contribution to the literature on a highly understudied population.
Adolescent Depression and outcomes for the family: We are working on a research manuscript derived from data included in the Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study funded by the NIMH. The manuscript is focused on the financial, social and behavioral impacts experienced by families of youth with a depressive disorder treated in the TADS study.
Members of the Georgetown University Research Assistant Team serve as collaborators on this project.