This initiative is designed to stimulate research that targets the reduction of health disparities among children. For purposes of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “health disparities” applies to children who have limited access to resources and privileges that impact their health. As such, this initiative includes a focus on ethnic and racial minority children and populations of underserved children to include: children from low literacy, rural and low-income populations, geographically isolated children, hearing and visually impaired children, physically or mentally disabled children, children of migrant workers, children from immigrant and refugee families, and language minority children. The NIH defines children as individuals 0-18 years of age. The primary purpose of this initiative, therefore, is to encourage intervention studies targeting one of the aforementioned groups. Rather than a singular approach, interventions using a multilevel approach (individual, health system, community, societal) are encouraged. In addition, basic studies designed to further delineate mechanisms/pathways of disparities that lead to the development of interventions are also encouraged. Specific targeted areas of research include bio-behavioral studies that incorporate multiple factors that influence child health disparities such as biological (e.g., genetics, cellular, organ systems), lifestyle factors, environmental (physical and family environments) social (e.g. peers), economic, institutional, and cultural and family influences; studies that target the specific health promotion needs of children with a known illness and/or disability; and studies that test and evaluate the comparative effectiveness of health promotion interventions conducted in traditional and nontraditional settings.
Strategic Plans on Reducing Health Disparities are located at:
Specific research areas of interest for this FOA include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
- Studies that incorporate multiple factors (two or more of the following factors): genetic/epigenetic, physiological, social, psychological, economic and demographic, environmental, technological and cultural and family factors believed to influence child health disparities.
- Development of sensitive biological and or behavioral markers to predict risk, disease course and progression of disease.
- Interventions designed to reduce risk factors and exposures that lead to development of one or more poor health outcomes.
- Interventions that promote increased physical activity, fitness, healthier nutrition and food choices or other health enhancing child health behaviors (e.g., asthma control behaviors, cumulative effects of sedentary).
- Studies that employ social media strategies promoting wellness, delayed onset of debilitating disease, and/or disease management.
- Energy Balance interventions using a multilevel approach addressing overweight or obesity among minority and underserved children and adolescents.
- Intervention studies targeting well-child care, preventive care, or developmental (early interventional or rehabilitative) care.
- Intervention studies to prevent, delay, treat or manage risk for disease or progression of disease due to altered physiological, behavioral or physical status secondary to complications of pregnancy and or intrauterine exposures.
- Development of language- and culturally-appropriate assessment tools for identification of developmental delays in children who are non-English speaking or have English as a second language
- Studies on intervention services for children with hearing loss from minority and low income families, such as access to hearing healthcare services, including hearing aids and habilitation/rehabilitation programs.
- Studies of the effectiveness of the different treatments (e.g., assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, habilitation and rehabilitation methods) for hearing loss in children from diverse cultural, language, medical, and developmental backgrounds.
- Studies that evaluate how gender and LGBTQ, health literacy, urban/rural and immigrant status (including legal and visa status) affect children’s health.
- Studies of socialization, children’s emerging ethnic identity and gender roles and their impact on health behaviors and health outcomes.
- Intervention studies that target children’s and parent’s health beliefs, health literacy and the influence of peers and culture on health behaviors, health care utilization and health outcomes.
- Culturally sensitive intervention studies targeting patient-provider respect, communication, interactions and trust in relationships, health care utilization, adherence with treatment plans, and health outcomes.”
The above information was excerpted from Department of Health and Human Services’ PA-17-118 Full Text Announcement.