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UM Diabetes Research Moves Forward with Pharmacy Project Proposals

UM pharmacy administration professor Meagen Rosenthal listens to the experiences of people affected by diabetes to inform her research proposals. Photo courtesy David D. Allen III
After completing in-depth discussions with diabetes patients and stakeholders throughout the state, faculty members and students from the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy are turning research questions from the “PaRTICIpate in Diabetes Self-Management Research Collaborative” into project proposals.

This research development project, which began in August 2016, resulted in 20 patient-centered research questions aimed at helping manage Type 2 diabetes. Now the focus is on turning three of these questions into separate research project proposals in hopes of leveraging the research into something greater.

“We have been honored to work with our patient team members over the last two years to develop these exciting research questions,” said Meagen Rosenthal, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Administration and co-lead investigator for the project. “We cannot wait to obtain the results from these three initial projects and share them with our patient team members so that they can see their hard work come to life.

“Diabetes is a significant burden to the people of Mississippi, and each of these projects represents one important step in helping to address this issue.”

The first project proposal aims to create a tool for patients with Type 2 diabetes to decide what kind of support is most important to them in managing their condition. These results will be shared with the patient’s community pharmacist to address the patient’s needs.

Funded by the Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research Pilot Project Program, the second project proposal focuses on a patient’s family history with Type 2 diabetes. Researchers will seek to learn how family members talk about diabetes self-management to better understand how this communication affects individual self-management practices.

The results will assist care providers in creating more targeted advice and recommendations for those with Type 2 diabetes.

A collaborative effort to develop a community pharmacy weight management program is the basis for the final proposal, which asks patients what information they think the program should include. These insights, combined with those of community pharmacists, will be used to create a program that works for patients and community pharmacists alike.

First-year student pharmacist and Byram native Shelby Strength is conducting the community pharmacist interviews for this proposal as part of her Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College thesis.

“When I was choosing a project, I wanted to find something that I was passionate about and could potentially have a big impact on my community,” Strength said. “Living in Mississippi my entire life, I have constantly heard about the crisis we are in as a state when it comes to managing a healthy weight.

“This past year, I worked towards removing some of the barriers by working closely with community pharmacists to develop a program that could realistically be implemented in their pharmacies.”

For more information about joining the research collaborative, contact Rosenthal at 662-915-2475 or mmrosent@olemiss.edu.

“PaRTICIpate in Diabetes Self-Management Research Collaborative” was funded through a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award, No. 3335, from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

By Whitney Tarpy

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