Project Overview +

Deliberative Engagement Community in Decisions about Research Spending (DECIDERS) study will develop and evaluate a mechanism to engage communities, particularly minority and underserved communities, in informed deliberations about health research spending priorities.

Related Media +

Related Media:

Aims +

Aim 1. Develop Research CHAT (ReCHAT), a simulation exercise to engage communities in deliberations about health research spending priorities.

Aim 2. Evaluate a deliberative exercise designed to engage minority and underserved communities in setting research priorities from the perspective of participants.

Aim 3. Describe the health research priorities of Michigan communities, particularly minority and underserved communities.

Aim 4.
Return results of statewide ReCHAT sessions to communities, funders, research leaders, and those who participated in interviews or ReCHAT groups.

Aim 5.
Assess the impact on participants, communities, research institutions and funders of public involvement in deliberative dialogues about research spending priorities.

Participants +

Steering Committee with members from multiple minority and underserved communities throughout Michigan, and representatives from public health, health professions, and organizations that fund and/or conduct health research. Over 1/2 (optimally 2/3) of the voting members of the Steering Committee will be community members to ensure decisions reflect communities’ preferences and values.

Intervention +

ReCHAT modifies the existing CHAT exercise content, capabilities and graphics to enable its use for public engagement in deliberations about clinical and translational health research priorities. Content for ReCHAT - spending options and feedback events - will have the following characteristics:
  1. Options, events and tasks are understandable and meaningful to non-scientists. Unlike the health care version of CHAT, the setting of research priorities, indeed health research itself, is rarely familiar to participants. Materials educate and inform participants about health research and spending priorities. Materials are thoroughly pretested to assure that information is credible and balanced, sufficient but not overwhelming, comprehensible but not oversimplified.
  2. A wide range of spending options, not limited to those currently considered by funding decision makers, so that communities’ priorities are not constrained by the status quo.
  3. Options reflect categories of research spending that decision makers find useful and meaningful, so that results from community engagement in priority setting can readily influence decisions.
Feedback "events" portray the possible consequences of various funding priorities in terms and vignettes that are logically linked to priorities, understandable, and meaningful. Events portray consequences to individuals, groups and the population as a whole. For example, prioritizing research on cancer prevention and deemphasizing exploration of potential new treatments are reflected in an “event” in which the incidence of cancer has decreased, but an individual whose cancer recurs despite standard treatment does not have as many treatments available.