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Choosing Healthful Interventions

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: September 28, 2007
Last updated: January 24, 2017
Last verified: October 31, 2011

This study will identify what programs, along with traditional healthcare, low-income urban residents would choose to improve their health. The information is intended as a step toward designing public policies aimed at improving the health of low-income populations in the United States.

Residents of Washington, D.C., who are between 18 and 64 years of age and are in a specified income bracket may be eligible for this study.

Participants take part in audio-taped group discussions led by a trained facilitator. During a 3 hour session, participants engage in 4 cycles of choosing benefits. Participants select benefits as follows:

  • For themselves individually.
  • For their neighborhood.
  • For an entire city.
  • Once again individually.

Socioeconomic Factors
Low-Income Population
Health Status

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Engaging Low-Income Urban Residents in Prioritizing Interventions to Address Socio-Economic Determinants of Health

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 442
Study Start Date: September 21, 2007
Estimated Study Completion Date: October 31, 2011
Detailed Description:


There is a growing recognition that health status is only partially a function of health care. Socio-economic determinants of health, particularly income status and education, have significant effects on health status and outcomes. In light of these socio-economic determinants, several governments in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are adopting evidence-based policy recommendations for improving the health of their populations. Britain has conducted research that has been path breaking in identifying these determinants of health and in planning to address them. Canada has similar plans.


The goal of this project is to explore the possibility of designing public policies aimed at improving the health of urban low-income populations in the US. Toward this end, this project will engage health policy experts and low-income residents in an exploratory exercise aimed at designing an affordable, evidence-based intervention program targeted at addressing socio-economic factors and reducing health disparities among low income residents of Washington, DC. A three step process will be carried out:

  1. Identification of candidate interventions that have been shown to ameliorate the socio-economic determinants of health, through literature review and consultation with experts;
  2. Consideration of a reasonable per capita expenditure for the purpose;
  3. Engagement of low-income residents to ascertain their priorities for publicly funding the proposed interventions within the assigned budget.

Several hundred low-income adults recruited from clinical and community settings will participate in this engagement process through small group exercises in which a facilitated discussion will take place using a previously tested group decision tool, REACH (Reaching Economic Alternatives that Contribute to Health). Data pertaining to participants' socio-demographic characteristics, attitudes toward health, and preferences for possible interventions will be collected anonymously. Group discussions will be audio-taped. Data will be analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively to determine preferences for various interventions and their association with socio-demographic characteristics. Participants will be financially compensated with $75 for their participation.


Given the anonymous nature of the data collection, we anticipate no risks other than those entailed in discussion of poor health outcomes associated with lack of insurance and low income. Participants may benefit from learning about factors that improve health status.


Study results will yield information about benefits that are of utmost priority to low income urban residents. This is unique information that may contribute to efforts to find affordable strategies for ameliorating the socio-economic determinants of health for low-income urban population in the US.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 64 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Low-income male and female adults will be recruited as study participants.


Children 18 years and younger are ineligible.

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00537706

United States, District of Columbia
Howard University Hospital
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, 20060
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Principal Investigator: Nancy Ames, R.N. National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
  More Information

Publications: Identifier: NCT00537706     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 999907224
Study First Received: September 28, 2007
Last Updated: January 24, 2017

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Socioeconomic Determinants
Health Status
Group Discussion processed this record on April 27, 2017