Feinstein Institute researchers and community outreach group El Poder de Decidir begin second phase of PCORI-funded project to improve asthma education and care in Hispanic community

MANHASSET, NY – Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Associate Professor Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH, and Research Coordinator Sonia Jacome MSCH, are continuing their collaboration with the community-based organization, El Poder de Decidir (El Poder) to improve the education and treatment of asthma patients in the Hispanic community with a second phase project supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

In the first phase of this project, Dr. Hajizadeh’s team along with El Poder arranged community meetings throughout Brooklyn and Queens, to assess top priorities and concerns regarding asthma care. El Poder is a community-based organization in Queens, NY that empowers Hispanic people to make informed decisions about their health after assessing risks and benefits of different treatment choices. From these meetings, researchers identified areas to examine in the second phase of the study.

“Asthma is a common condition in the New York City Latin American community, particularly due to occupational and living environment exposure,” said Dr. Hajizadeh. “Language barriers and cultural differences can make it hard for patients to receive and adhere to treatment. This support from PCORI allows us and El Poder de Decidir to answer research questions important to the community, which lead to interventions with higher likelihood of success in this population.”

The three priorities selected for the next phase of Dr. Hajizadeh and Sonia Jacome’s study include:

  • Asthma education – The group will design education programs in line with the Hispanic community preferences, addressing common misconceptions.
  • Communication between patients and caregivers – Researchers will examine how to improve the training of patient translators to ensure that nuanced information is not lost in the communications between caregivers and patients.
  • Conventional medications vs. natural therapies – Researchers will work with caregivers to identify natural therapeutic options, a request from many members of the Latin American Community, and develop methods for caregivers to communicate these options.

The research team will continue to meet with community members via established relationships with El Poder de Decidir, to assess which priority the community believes will have the highest potential impact. They will then submit an application to PCORI for the next level of research support in the form of a larger clinical trial.

“Ensuring that patients understand treatments and that they obtain maximum benefit is as important to improving outcomes as developing new treatments,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute. “Only 16 percent of Phase 1 PCORI projects are selected to make it to Phase 2 so this is a testament to the excellence that Dr. Hajizadeh and her team bring to an important disease in the Latin American community.”

About the Feinstein Institute

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the Feinstein Institute includes 4,000 researchers and staff who are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.

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