Title: Statistical Consulting: Working with Hard to Reach Populations and Hard to Reach Investigators
Abstract: A hallmark of health disparities research is the study of hard to reach populations, those individuals for which the gathering of accurate and reliable data is more difficult than the general public. Some examples may relate to geography (e.g. rural residents, tribal populations), income (e.g. immigrants, homeless), legal issues (e.g. addicts, felons) or stigmatized groups (e.g. victims, LGBTQ, certain illnesses). Researchers have demonstrated that it can be very difficult to recruit and retain these individuals in studies ranging from psychology to economics to health to education. A common practice is for researchers to more thoroughly integrate or embed themselves in with these groups to gain trust and a deeper understanding of the issues within those communities. Does this have unintended consequences? The purpose of this talk is to give some background and insights in working with and analyzing disparities focused research and the unique challenges in doing work in this area. Analysts are often the stewards of maintaining scientific research standards in the face of passionate investigators and legal or cultural hurdles to doing research. This example driven discussion shows how these things can impact real world data collection and analysis.
Bio: Jason S. Brinkley, PhD, MS, MA is a Senior Associate and Biostatistician at Abt Associates, Inc. His work, out of Durham, NC, focuses on applying the statistical analysis and data visualization to a wide variety of health related data with special focus on health services, policy, and disparities. Prior to coming starting in contract research, Dr. Brinkley spent almost 8 years as faculty in the department of biostatistics at East Carolina University (ECU) teaching and collaborating on a wide range of research in health, education, business, and many other areas. Dr. Brinkley’s methodological expertise spans a wide area of the statistical sciences but also encompasses custom data visualization, machine learning methods, and statistical consulting. He has extensive experience with large datasets, many with a longitudinal focus. Examples include the Medicare Assessment of Qualified Health Providers, SEER Tumor Registry, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Diseases, Medicare claims, and several hospital-based electronic health databases. Dr. Brinkley has been funded by a wide range of sources including the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. He has served as a grant reviewer for the NIH, FDA, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). He received his PhD from North Carolina State University.