Project Title Impact Of Chd Risk Perception On Health Behaviors And O

The Big Heart Disease Lie

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Principal Investigator & Institution: Barnhart, Janice M. Epidemiology & Social Medicine; Yeshiva University 500 W 185Th St New York, NY 10033

Timing: Fiscal Year 2002; Project Start 15-MAY-2002; Project End 30-APR-2006

Summary: (Applicant's abstract) The overall goal of the proposed study is determine if perceived risk of heart disease among postmenopausal women enrolled in the Observational Study (OS) of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) in the New York Clinical Center, differs by race, and if risk perception is related to health behaviors. The applicant's long-term career goals are to become an independent investigator with special scientific interest in determining the key psychosocial contributors to racial and gender disparity in heart disease morbidity and mortality. In the proposed study, the first phase will be to develop and pilot test a methodologically sound instrument that measures perceived risk of heart disease. The second phase will be to administer this instrument to 300 White, African-American and Hispanic women at higher risk of heart disease because of smoking status, hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol (requiring pills) and to determine the relationship of risk perception to risk reduction and other specific health behaviors. There will be 2 annual follow-ups to determine if changes in risk perception or health behavior occur. Data collected will be used as the basis of an independent grant application to expand this study to additional WHI centers and to provide information for future cardiac interventions using culturally- sensitive risk communication strategies to lessen the disease burden in African Americans and other population at high-risk for heart disease. The applicant's immediate career goals are to devote no less than 75 percent of her time to a highly structured and intensely focused research experience, over the next 4 years, to nurture development of her theoretical and practical skills in research design, implementation and analysis and in survey instrument development and test construction. This research and career development plan includes: 1) formal graduate course work in biostatistics, test construction, and decision analysis; 2) mentoring from the WHI Principal Investigator (PI) at the study site and investigators who have done pioneering work in the emerging field of risk perception in diabetes; 3) becoming thoroughly versed in the WHI operations; 4) having a formal evaluation by a Trainee Advisory Committee (TAC). The applicant will work closely under the guidance of the primary mentor (WHI PI). She will learn the rigorous methods employed in the conduct of a major, multi-center study, the WHI, will learn about the rigorous process of identifying and adjudicating coronary outcomes, and about procedures to assure research integrity.

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