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SDR 22-243 – HSR Study

SDR 22-243
Comprehensive DEI portfolio analyses within ORD focusing on inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities and DEI content
Donna L Washington, MD MPH
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, West Los Angeles, CA
West Los Angeles, CA
Funding Period: March 2023 - September 2024


Background/Rationale: As a learning health care system and a high reliability health care organization, VA funds research to advance knowledge and promote innovations to improve the health and care of Veterans. Health equity has been a longstanding VA research priority, with much of the health equity literature focusing on racial and ethnic health and health care disparities. Despite this priority and focus, prior systematic reviews of the scientific literature have identified gaps in the research evidence to reduce racial and ethnic disparities within VA. There is limited evidence on the scope of the funded research studies that gave rise to this scientific literature. To fill this knowledge gap, and address the VA Office of Research & Development’s (ORD’s) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) objectives, an assessment of the current activities related to VA-funded research involving racial and ethnic minorities is warranted. Objective: The objective of this project is to describe the scope and content of ORD-funded grants related to racial and ethnic minoritized groups, including both research projects and career/investigator development or support grants (i.e., grants related to recruitment and training of racial and ethnic minority investigators). Methods: The scope of this portfolio analysis will be research grants funded by any of the ORD Services between 2017-2022 that include as one or more of its aims DEI topics in racial and ethnic minoritized groups, or the recruitment and training of racial or ethnic minority investigators. The unit of analysis will be the funded grant. The identification of the ORD-funded grants (the portfolio analysis sampling frame) will rely on the NIH Reporter database, whereas the assessment of the scope and content of these grants will rely on multiple electronic data sources, since no one data source provides complete, structured data to describe these studies. Though some information on the ORD-funded studies may be assessed from the published scientific literature, this project differs from a systematic review of the published literature in that the objective of this project is to describe what ORD funds (including projects that may not yet have publications), rather than the published literature related to Veteran DEI research. We will use an adaptation of the VA Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP) disparities framework to guide our analytic plan. This analytic framework depicts the relationships among Veteran population characteristics (e.g., race and ethnicity), outcomes (utilization; quality; patient health), mediating factors (at patient, provider, patient-provider, and system levels), and interventions to reduce disparities in Veterans. We will use this framework to characterize ORD-funded DEI studies. Impact: Findings will inform ORD’s assessment of alignment of the research portfolio with ORD’s strategic vision. This assessment may inform future planning to fill gaps in DEI-related research.

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None at this time.

DRA: None at this time.
DRE: None at this time.
Keywords: Ethnicity/Race
MeSH Terms: None at this time.

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