CCHS Faculty Part of Team Studying Racial Disparities in Kidney Disease Diagnosis, Treatment

October 6, 2021

Faculty from The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences are part of a research team awarded $379,683 by CVS Health to study racial disparities in kidney disease diagnosis and treatment in Alabama.

Dr. Pamela Payne-Foster, professor of community medicine and population health for CCHS, and Dr. Brittney Anderson, assistant professor of family, internal, and rural medicine, for CCHS are part of the team, which also includes Drs. JoAnn Oliver and Felecia Wood, professors for UA’s Capstone College of Nursing.

The team is being led by Dr. Sharlene Newman, director of the Alabama Life Research Institute at UA. Wood is the study’s principal investigator.

Among the primary causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, two chronic health conditions that disproportionately impact African Americans.

The goal of the study is to develop and implement a health literacy intervention designed to decrease racial disparities in kidney disease and promote awareness of treatment options.

The team will conduct a comprehensive assessment of a diverse population of Alabamians with or at risk for chronic kidney disease, as well as individuals on dialysis, to determine their knowledge of risk factors for kidney disease and treatment options. The team will also survey and interview health care providers, including nephrologists, to better understand the diagnostic and treatment processes.

The data will be used to develop a health literacy intervention. The team will focus on health literacy at both the individual and organizational level and will develop easy-to-understand messaging for individuals at high risk for kidney disease, and interventions for health care workers to improve the messaging they deliver to patients.