Publication Abstract

Authors: Gorin SS, Badr H, Krebs P, Prabhu Das I

Title: Multilevel interventions and racial/ethnic health disparities.

Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2012(44):100-11

Date: 2012 May

Abstract: To examine the impact of multilevel interventions (with three or more levels of influence) designed to reduce health disparities, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions for ethnic/racial minorities (all except non-Hispanic whites) that were published between January 2000 and July 2011. The primary aims were to synthesize the findings of studies evaluating multilevel interventions (three or more levels of influence) targeted at ethnic and racial minorities to reduce disparities in their health care and obtain a quantitative estimate of the effect of multilevel interventions on health outcomes among these subgroups. The electronic database PubMed was searched using Medical Subject Heading terms and key words. After initial review of abstracts, 26 published studies were systematically reviewed by at least two independent coders. Those with sufficient data (n = 12) were assessed by meta-analysis and examined for quality using a modified nine-item Physiotherapy Evidence Database coding scheme. The findings from this descriptive review suggest that multilevel interventions have positive effects on several health behavior outcomes, including cancer prevention and screening, as well improving the quality of health-care system processes. The weighted average effect size across studies for all health behavior outcomes reported at the individual participant level (k = 17) was odds ratio (OR) = 1.27 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11 to 1.44); for the outcomes reported by providers or organizations, the weighted average effect size (k = 3) was OR = 2.53 (95% CI = 0.82 to 7.81). Enhanced application of theories to multiple levels of change, novel design approaches, and use of cultural leveraging in intervention design and implementation are proposed for this nascent field.