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Dr. Tjia receives new NIH RO1 to combat implicit bias in health care

Dr. Jen Tjia received notice that her program entitled COmmuNity-engaged SimULation Training for Blood Pressure Control (CONSULT-BP) has been funded by the National Institutes of Health. CONSULT-BP is a theory-based, multi-component, training intervention that targets medical residents and nurse practitioner students. CONSULT-BP will adapt and test a theory-based, `awareness, exposure and skill-building' intervention, applied in the safety of a simulation-based learning center, to improve providers' interaction skills with minority and poor patients. UMass Medical School will use our established platform of community-based participatory research to implement CONSULT-BP in an academic medical center with a large, safety-net health system that serves a minority and poor population. The CONSULT-BP project plans to recruit and hire Community Advisors representing diverse underserved populations who will participate in the adaptation of evidence-based hypertension communication tools and the design, development, and implementation of the training curriculum. Online self-assessments of clinicians' implicit bias for race and patient compliance to raise bias self-awareness will be conducted. The educational intervention is a program of two, 90-minute, sessions, spaced 5 weeks apart that combine online learning with in-person skill practice. To understand how much training exposure is required to `move the needle' of clinical skills and patient outcomes, Dr. Tjia’s team will conduct two, sequential, randomized trials. The first will evaluate the effectiveness of one-time CONSULT training on outcomes. The second will evaluate the effect of repeat, booster training on outcomes.