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Partners in Research: Engaging the Community in Clinical Research

By Kate Saylor
Outreach Librarian
University of Michigan
Taubman Health Sciences Library

Executive Director of UM Medical Innovation Center, Dr. James Geiger discusses developing New Medical Technologies.The Taubman Health Sciences Library has partnered with the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) and Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) to address the need for community engagement in clinical research by incorporating community expertise and knowledge in several innovative strategies designed to raise the level of literacy, awareness, and participation in clinical health research.

Responding to recent changes in how the public obtains health information, this NIH funded Partners in Research project uses interactive health research forums and the addition of social networking to the University of Michigan’s current clinical research web portal, engage (www.UMengage.org), to speed the exchange of health research information. Jim Abelson, MD, PhD; Gregory Lynn Hanna, MD; Joseph Himle, PhD discuss Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Across the Lifespan.

Over the past year, this partnership has organized nine Health Research Forums hosted at AADL with topics such as Cancer and Genetic Risk, Understanding Alzheimer’s, Overcoming Obesity and Low Vision. Each attendee is asked to complete a pre- and post-test to identify and measure the impact of various features of the Forum on their health research literacy and attitudes about research. Follow-up focus groups are also conducted at AADL to understand the participants’ opinion of the ideal way to learn about clinical studies and research.

Data collected so far indicates that despite the overarching fears and mistrust regarding research, there is a desire for people to participate in research studies coupled with a need for more awareness of opportunities to learn about current research and ways to participate.

Next Event:

When: June 10 7:00-8:30pm
Where: AADL Downtown branch (343 S. Fifth Ann Arbor)
Topic: Diabetes
Speaker: Dr. Bill Herman

Can’t make it in person? Taubman Health Sciences Library will be tweeting live: @mlibraryhealthy

For more information about this project visit: www.aadl.org/pir

To view videos of past events visit: www.aadl.org/video/collection/10

This project was funded by grants R03 NS065493 and R03 NS065491-0 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders at the National Institutes of Health.

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