Julie Johnson Zerwic, PhD , RN, Funded Projects
Center for Reducing Risks in Vulnerable Populations (CRRVP)
Funding Source: National Institute of Nursing Research
Dates: 9/17/04 – 7/31/10
Associate Directors: JoEllen Wilbur, Karen Kavanaugh, Julie Zerwic, Barbara Berger, Margaret Covey, Barbara Dancy, Alicia Matthews, Beverly McElmurry, Arlene Miller, Dorie Schwertz, Marie Talashek, Edward Wang
Abstract: The overall purpose of the Center for Reducing Risks in Vulnerable Populations (CRRVP) is to (a) advance the science of biobehavioral health for vulnerable populations, emphasizing issues associated with vulnerability related age (very young and elderly), minority status, and lower socioeconomic status; (b) reduce disparities in disease/illness; and (c) support research training by providing core services and resources to investigators. The work of the CRRVP will be accomplished through three research cores (a) Multi-ethnic Emphasis Core, (b) Biobehavioral Methods Core and (c) Development and Dissemination Core. The CRRVP will sponsor research to advance the science in biobehavioral health for vulnerable populations and in the first year four novice investigators will be funded to conduct pilot studies. The science of the CRRVP is organized by a biobehavioral and health-related quality of life framework. Key elements in this framework include person (individual) factors, environmental factors, physiological and psychological variables, symptom status, functional status, general health perception, and quality of life. Studies supported by the CRRVP will (a) reduce disparity and promote healthy life styles for vulnerable populations, (b) elucidate underlying physiological and psychological mechanisms that contribute to symptoms, functional status, perceived health status and quality of life, (c) test interventions to minimize symptoms, enhance functional status, perceived health status and quality of life. The research supported by the CRRVP will have a strong biobehavioral orientation with an emphasis on potential/real health problems experienced by people who are very young, elderly, minorities and/or lower socioeconomic status. In addition, the CRRVP will have a strong emphasis on facilitating multi-ethnic research and reducing disparity in health through research. The combining of research related to vulnerable populations under the umbrella of a single center is, a strength due to overlaps in the science that have not been explored. The interaction of investigators with expertise in diverse groups of subjects will move the science forward in new directions.