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Keywords

Interdisciplinary research; student engagement; health disparities; transformative learning

Abstract

Major initiatives by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the World Health Organization have produced a large and compelling body of evidence on how to reduce health disparities, which entails having a clear understanding of how social factors shape health and healthcare outcomes. Specifically, there is a need for healthcare professionals to understand social determinants of health (e.g., low socioeconomic status, lack of health insurance, and poor education) and how these lead to disparities in health for people of minority racial and ethnic groups. Little is known about how students are developed as health disparities researchers or how their research experiences impact their views about addressing social determinants of health as a career goal. The purpose of this paper is to describe how health and human sciences students were integrated into three minority HIV prevention and testing projects using the lifelong learning for health professionals (LLHP) principles and activities framework, which entails a focus on: (a) education, (b) community, and (c) organization in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of interdisciplinary research.


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