The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated mitigation strategies are expected to have significant psychosocial, behavioral, and socioeconomic impacts on health, which are exacerbated in populations that experience health disparities and other vulnerable groups, leading to disproportionately adverse consequences. Those experiencing health disparities prior to the COVID-19 pandemic are at increased risk of infection and other COVID-19 related consequences (e.g., job loss, unpaid leave, lost wages).
Research is needed to test community interventions focused on the prevention (or slowing) of COVID-19 transmission, evaluate local and state policies and programs intended to mitigate COVID-19 exposure and improve adherence, and reduce the negative impact of the multifaceted consequences on the health of populations who experience health disparities and other vulnerable groups. This work may includeleveraging and scaling existing resources (e.g., health education materials, technology, social media, mass media, social support networks, social services). In domains and populations in which the evidence base is limited, the development, testing, and implementation of novel or adapted interventions to address the negative health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (including the unintended health consequences of population-level interventions) may also be needed to address the unique needs of populations.
Projects may evaluate existing or ongoing community-based programs or policies (i.e., natural experiments), or prospectively test new or adapted interventions. Multilevel interventions that do not solely target individuals, but also address the upstream determinants that influence individual functioning and health outcomes are strongly encouraged. Projects should be designed to test hypotheses about mechanisms of action that account for an intervention’s effects; mechanisms may operate at any level of analysis.
Key questions include: To what extent do existing interventions slow the spread of COVID-19 in specific populations and geographic hotspots? To what extent do policies, guidelines, and other interventions facilitate adherence and mitigate the multifaceted impacts of COVID-19 on health in populations that experience health disparities and vulnerable groups? Can established models of crisis and disaster response and management be applied to address the needs of health disparity and other vulnerable populations?
Outcomes of interest include, but are not limited to, COVID-19 incidence, hospitalizations, and mortality rates in defined populations or geographic locations, indicators of community functioning and/or family functioning related to health, changes in the physical or built environment, preventative behaviors, adherence to mitigation strategies, access and utilization of health care, management of chronic conditions (provider-delivered care and/or self-management), mental health, substance abuse, tobacco use, dietary intake, sleep health, quality of life (QoL), physical activities, activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and biomarkers and other outcomes of health.
Projects must include a focus on one or more NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities in the United States, or a population identified as vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, hospitalization,or mortality.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from June 10, 2020 through December 15, 2020 by 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization. This NOSI expires on December 30, 2020.