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Tjia Research Group 

The Tjia Research Group is committed to improving healthcare delivery for marginalized populations. We specifically focus on how contextual factors affect two critical aspects of patient care:  clinician-patient communication and medication (de)prescribing. 

Our research group uses qualitative and quantitative methods to generate evidence to inform how clinician- and system-level interventions can be developed to align clinical communication, health service delivery, and medication use with the goals of patients and family caregivers. Methodologic approaches we use include case studies and interviews, observational data analysis with large administrative data, and clinical trials.  We also use a participatory action model of engaged research in our efforts to bring community voices to the center of interventions to improve care.

Our research funding portfolio has included intramural grants and extramural grants from NIH, AHRQ, American Cancer Society, the Cambia Health Foundation, and the Donaghue Foundation.

Latest News

Equity in Caregiving
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UMass Chan researcher Jennifer Tjia leading NIH study examining equity in caregiving

Dr. Tjia and her research team were recently awarded a $4.1 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study caregiver engagement in serious illness and the impact of structural barriers, including racism.

The estimated 66 million caregivers in the United States, who can be relatives, partners or friends, are particularly critical for hospitalized patients with serious illness, according to Tjia. They assist with complex decision making, care coordination and patient advocacy. Staffing shortages have stressed hospital care further and made caregivers even more important.

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Worcester Business Journal: UMass Chan researcher leads $4.1M study of caregiving equity

Dr. Jennifer Tjia, professor of population and quantitative health sciences at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, is leading a $4.1-million, five-year grant-funded study from the National Institute of Health, exploring equity in caregiving.

The mixed method study is being completed for Equity in Caregiving, a federally funded project focused on Massachusetts. The organization aims to understand how stressors in caregivers’ lives affect their abilities to support those in their care, the school said in a Friday announcement.

Structural Racism and Engagement of Family Caregivers in Serious Illness Care - 26 January 2023

Dr. Tjia discusses a conceptual framework and approach to measuring the impact of structural racism on the health outcomes of hospitalized patients with serious illness at the Cicely Saunders Institute, London.