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Link: Barriers and Strategies Validation Study
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Link: Ratings of Health Interventions Programs
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Link: Analysis of BRFSS HRQOL Study
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RRTC Research

Welcome to RRTC Research. This section describes the research studies that have been (and are being) conducted by RRTC: Health and Wellness. For a quick overview of each study with status and progress to date, click the links to the left.

Part of the mission of the RRTC is to conduct research that is scientifically based, participatory and applicable. In this section, we provide a conceptual overview of how the studies relate to each other and together provide a broad picture of health and wellness for persons with disabilities. Different studies address persons with disabilities directly, health care providers, or address policies that influence the opportunities for health and wellness for persons with long term disabilities. Quick links below describe each study.

Barriers and Strategies Validation Study: The purpose of this study is to create a brief listing of common and important barriers to routine health care access and potential strategies to overcome them for people with disabilities. This list will then be reviewed by a group of adults with disabilities in order to validate its completeness. The results of this study will be used in study R3.

Clinic Access Checklist Reliability Study: This study will develop a checklist tool to evaluate the physical and programmatic accessibility of outpatient health care clinics based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The tool will be tested to ensure that it is reliable, valid and useful. And it will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for sufficiency review.

Health Care Access Intervention Study: The purpose of this study is to test methods for improving routine health care access, especially for clinical preventive services, for people living with disabilities. Two strategies to improving access will be tested, one which focuses on patient education and empowerment and another which focuses on clinics and clinic staff. Improvements in access will be measured through clinician report, patient report, and medical encounter records of selected preventive services.

Validation Criteria for Health Promotion Study: This study will utilize a panel of health promotion and disability experts to develop criteria for evaluating health promotion intervention programs for people with disabilities that are acceptable to health promotion researchers, disability advocates, and program implementers. These criteria will be disseminated and used in a subsequent study (R5).

Ratings of Health Intervention Programs: In this study, the criteria developed by the expert panel will be used to evaluate existing health promotion programs for people with disabilities. Intervention program authors will be contacted to ascertain their interest in having their program rated and to obtain the most current information on program evaluation. Pairs of raters will independently rate elements of each program/activity. Reliability of ratings will be calculated and discrepancies resolved through discussion. The results of this project will be made available through an interactive website.

Review of Health Status Measures Study: Many of the most common measurements of health status (SF-36, SIP, etc.) confound functional status and health and therefore inaccurately represent the health status of people living with disabilities. This study will utilize a panel of health status measurement and disability experts to develop consensus on desired characteristics of a health assessment tool(s) for people with disabilities. Panel members will evaluate current measures for adequacy to assess health status of people with disabilities (per these desired characteristics and the criteria of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Medical Outcomes Trust) and provide guidance on the development of a new tool or tools (R8).

Analysis of BRFSS HRQOL Study: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an annual state-based system of health surveys that generate information about health risk behaviors, clinical preventive practices, and health care access. Several questions on the BRFSS ask about Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL). This study will examine the performance of the HRQOL questions among people with and without disabilities and how their prediction by other variables may inform development of improved health status measurement questions to assess health and well-being of individuals with disabilities regardless of functional status.

Health Status Tools Development Study: The purpose of this study is to develop and test a health status measurement tool to reliably assess the health status of individuals regardless of functional ability. The tool will also be tested to determine if it is sufficiently sensitive to detect change due to interventions. Several approaches will be used to develop and test the items used in the tool as well as validate its use with people living with disabilities.


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Updated 4/26/05