Director's Messages

Extended—Call for Papers: Design and Analytic Methods to Evaluate Multilevel Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities

Updated Aug. 25, 2022 to extend the call for papers until Sept. 30, 2022

The NIH has launched initiatives to end structural racism in biomedical research and eliminate health disparities. For example, several funding opportunities have already been released that focus on developing and testing multilevel interventions to address structural racism and other structural determinants as drivers of health disparities across the United States.

The ODP recently elevated the issue of health disparities from a cross-cutting theme for the Office to a new strategic priority. We introduced ADVANCE: Advancing Prevention Research for Health Equity, a new trans-NIH effort to encourage new prevention interventions and strategies that deliver existing evidence-based interventions and preventive services in populations that experience health disparities. We expect ADVANCE will lead to additional funding opportunities over the next several years.

Open Call for Submissions—Extended to Sept. 30, 2022

The ODP is also working hard to provide investigators with the opportunities and information they need to perform high-quality health equity research. I am proud to announce a call for abstracts for a supplemental issue of the journal Prevention Science, the official publication of the Society for Prevention Research, which will be sponsored by the ODP. The forthcoming issue will be entitled “Design and Analytic Methods to Evaluate Multilevel Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities.”

We invite you to review the detailed Submission & Review ProcessManuscript Details, and Frequently Asked Questions below and submit a two-page manuscript precis to ODP-Director@mail.nih.gov. The deadline for submitting a manuscript precis has been extended to Sept. 30, 2022.

Aims of the Supplemental Issue

Effectively addressing structural racism and other structural determinants to improve health equity requires rigorously tested and evidence-based multilevel interventions. However, studies that evaluate multilevel interventions face specific challenges, which require specialized design and analytical approaches.

Investigators could benefit from guidance on the appropriate design and analytic methods for evaluating these multilevel interventions, but such guidance is currently incomplete and scattered across a wide range of sources and across disciplines that do not often interact.

This supplemental issue will bring together current thinking and new ideas about design and analytic methods that would be appropriate for studies aimed at reducing health disparities, including strategies for balancing methodological rigor with design feasibility, acceptability, and ethical considerations. Of particular interest are design and analytic methods for parallel group- or cluster-randomized trials (GRTs), stepped-wedge GRTs, group-level regression discontinuity trials, and other methods that are appropriate for evaluation of multilevel interventions.

We anticipate the supplemental issue will be published in April 2024. 

Submission & Review Process

Please also refer to the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page for additional information, which will be updated regularly.

  • NOW Sept. 30, 2022: Deadline for investigators to submit a two-page manuscript precis to ODP-Director@mail.nih.gov. The precis should outline the proposed design, analytic, and sample size methods, together with any new research you propose to evaluate those methods.
  • Nov. 1, 2022: Guest editors invite selected authors to submit a full manuscript.
  • March 1, 2023: Deadline for authors to submit initial manuscript drafts to the guest editors (see Manuscript Details below). Guest editors will review drafts for length, APA formatting, and reference style, as well as informally for content and fit with the theme of the supplemental issue. Authors will have time to incorporate feedback prior to formal submission to the journal for peer review.
  • May 1, 2023: Deadline for authors to submit full manuscripts to Prevention Science for peer review through the journal’s online portal. Guest editors assign reviewers and make recommendations to the journal editor, who makes the final decision regarding disposition of the manuscript.

Manuscript Details

Manuscripts should be limited to 30 double-spaced pages and will need to:

  • Provide an example multilevel intervention that could be proposed to address structural racism or reduce health disparities.
  • Propose a design, analytic plan, and sample size estimation method to evaluate that intervention.
  • Present the methods and results of new research used to evaluate the proposed design, analytic plan, and sample size estimation method (where appropriate).
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approach relative to existing methods.

Additional material can be proposed as Supplemental Information to be published online. Instructions to authors for manuscript submissions are available on the Prevention Science website.

Guest Editors

  • David M. Murray, Ph.D. (ODP)
  • Patrick Heagerty, Ph.D. (Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington)
  • Melody S. Goodman, Ph.D. (Department of Biostatistics, New York University)

Additional Information

Send questions and manuscript precis submissions to Dr. David Murray at ODP-Director@mail.nih.gov.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

(updated regularly)

Expand All

1. What are the formatting requirements for the two-page manuscript precis?

formatting
  • Font size: At least 11 points
  • Font style: Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, or Palatino Linotype
  • Line spacing: Single spaced
  • Margins: 1 inch

2. Do references and figures count toward the two-page limit of the manuscript precis, or can I include them as a separate document?

references

Both references and figures count toward the two-page limit for the manuscript precis and should not be submitted as a separate document or attachment.

3. Can I submit a manuscript about a proposed study, or does the study need to be active or completed?

study

Manuscripts should provide an example multilevel intervention that could be proposed to address structural racism and reduce health disparities. This includes a study that has not been conducted but could be in the future.

4. Does the final manuscript submission need to present results of an active multilevel study?

results

Manuscripts do not need to present results from the study described in their manuscript, but they must provide the other information identified under Manuscript Details:

  • Provide an example multilevel intervention that could be proposed to address structural racism and reduce health disparities.
  • Propose a design, analytic plan, and sample size estimation method to evaluate that intervention.
  • Present the methods and results of new research used to evaluate the proposed design, analytic plan, and sample size estimation method (where appropriate).
    • Note: We recognize that authors may propose a new method for design, analysis, or sample size. If this is the case, authors should provide results from simulation or other studies to demonstrate the validity of their proposed new methods.
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approach relative to existing methods.
     

5. Are the guest editors interested in experimental designs (i.e., randomized trials) only, or can I submit non-experimental designs or natural experiments (e.g., policy changes or community interventions that are not randomized trials)?

randomization

Non-randomized designs will be considered, as long as the submission addresses all the requirements stated in the call for papers:

  • The two-page manuscript precis (due Sept. 1, 2022) should outline the proposed design, analytic, and sample size methods, together with any new, proposed research to evaluate those methods.
  • Each manuscript should provide an example multilevel intervention that could be proposed to address structural racism or other structural determinants and reduce health disparities.
  • Each manuscript should discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approach relative to existing methods.
  • Manuscripts that do not address design, analysis, and sample size issues for a multilevel intervention that could be proposed to address structural racism or other structural determinants and reduce health disparities will not be considered responsive.

6. Does the proposed multilevel intervention need to both address structural racism and reduce health disparities?

domain

No. Proposed multilevel interventions are not required to address structural racism and reduce health disparities. The guest editors will consider manuscripts that propose multilevel interventions designed to address structural racism or reduce health disparities. It is acceptable if the intervention is designed to reduce health disparities but does not address structural factors.