Use of Critical Race Theory to Inform the Recruitment of Black/African American Alzheimer's Disease Caregivers into Community-Based Research

Lauren J. Parker, Joseph E. Gaugler, Laura N. Gitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nearly 30 years after the 1993 National Institute of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act, which required the inclusion of women and racial/ethnic minority groups into government-funded clinical trials, minority groups remain underrepresented in research, and disparities in health outcomes and longevity remain. These problematic trends are particularly evident when considering Black and community-based research in Alzheimer's disease and related dementia (ADRD). Deeply rooted historical race-based mistreatment in research and in the health care system at large along with ineffective recruitment approaches persists as barriers to the low participation of Black participants in dementia care studies. In this article, we explore Critical Race Theory, its tenets, and applicability to inform national strategies to encourage participation of Black participants in ADRD research. We describe how Critical Race Theory constructs (e.g., race consciousness, storytelling, and praxis) can be used to inform recruitment strategies of Black caregivers for people living with dementia into community-based research. We provide a case example that draws upon our NIH-funded Adult Day Service Plus randomized trial and its engagement of Black caregivers into a community-based biomarker research arm of the main trial. Although the contribution of this article is primarily theoretical, in the spirit of Critical Race Theory it is also a call for action to transform dementia care research by offering a conceptual tool to assure inclusivity of Black participants, who are disproportionately affected by dementia when compared to other racial groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-750
Number of pages9
JournalGerontologist
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s) 2022

Keywords

  • Adult day care
  • African American older adult
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Caregiving - Informal

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