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Keywords

African American men; Health and race; Health disparities; Interdisciplinary research; Prostate – Cancer; Prostate cancer; Transdisciplinary research

Abstract

Though prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cause cancer deaths among men in the US, it ranks first among African American men in terms of incidence, morbidity, and mortality. To address this and other complex health issues, some researchers advocate transdisciplinary research as a framework for analysis; however, few examples exist that indicate how the framework should be applied. This report uses prostate cancer outcomes as a paradigm to describe how such a framework can be used to identify determinants of racial disparities. By integrating diverse scientific disciplines, methods, and analytic approaches from psychology, sociology, epidemiology and genetics, health services, and information science, the environmental, behavioral, biological, sociological, and psychological factors that contribute to racial disparities can be identified. This framework can also be used to investigate the complex ways in which these factors interact and contribute to racial disparities in complex diseases like prostate cancer.