Community Interventions to Address the Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Health Disparity and Vulnerable Populations (R01 - Clinical Trial Optional)

Program Description

NIMHD and other participating NIH Institutes and Centers are encouraging relevant, culturally and contextually appropriate research on community interventions, among NIH-designated health disparity populations and other vulnerable groups*, to address the adverse psychosocial, behavioral, and socioeconomic effects of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Mounting evidence indicates worse outcomes and greater COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality among individuals with underlying medical conditions, older adults, and individuals with long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution. Preliminary reports in the U.S. point consistently to evidence that health disparity and minority communities, including African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, are most affected by COVID-19.In addition, public-facing essential workers, including those in health care, are also disproportionately affected.

Understanding the multifaceted impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and public health interventions that mitigate risk and promote resilience in high-risk populations, will help improve our long-term response to the pandemic and prepare more effectively for future public health emergencies.

Research is needed to study:

  1. The impacts of mitigation strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission and acquisition, (i.e., physical distancing, wearing face coverings, frequent handwashing, disinfecting surfaces, shelter-in-place, self-isolation upon suspected exposure for 14 days, leaving home only for essential activities, etc.).
  2. Already implemented, new, or adapted interventions to address the adverse consequences of the pandemic on people in the communities that have been most affected by COVID-19.

*For the purpose of this FOA, vulnerable populations include people who are: residents of chronic care and assisted living facilities, community-dwelling older adults, individuals with cognitive impairment or dementia, homeless populations, incarcerated populations and those involved with the criminal justice system (e.g., participants of re-entry programs), adults with medical comorbidities, pregnant women, children and adolescents, individuals with substance use disorders or severe mental illness, those living in congregate housing (e.g., shelters, residential treatment or assisted living), persons who are deaf or with disabilities including visual, hearing, communication, or mobility impairment, detainees in immigration centers, migrant communities, individuals living on tribal lands or reservations, and environmentally vulnerable communities that are exposed to high rates of air pollution or other toxic exposures. Vulnerable groups also include those on the frontlines of healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those working in essential business operations (e.g., grocery and pharmacy workers, transportation, hospital and community janitorial/sanitation workers, waste collectors, postal and other delivery service and warehouse personnel, etc.).

NIH Guide No.: PAR-20-237

Page updated February 9, 2021