Insights From African American Older Adults on Brain Health Research Engagement: “Need to See the Need”

Shoshana H. Bardach, Markeda Yarbrough, Charlene Walker, Doris L. Alfred, Eseosa Ighodaro, Marc T. Kiviniemi, Gregory A. Jicha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


African Americans (AAs) have an elevated risk of developing dementia, yet are underrepresented in clinical research. This project uses a community-engaged photovoice approach to add to existing understanding of barriers and facilitators to AA participation in Alzheimer’s disease research and identify strategies to enhance engagement. Three AA research advocates served as community facilitators to identify and guide groups of AA adults through an eight to nine session photovoice project. Group sessions involved discussions and sharing of images pertaining to various prompts in the area of brain health and research participation. Sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Participants identified three categories of barriers to AA research participation: (a) Mistrust, (b) avoidance and fear of acknowledging problems, and (c) seeing the risks of research but not the need. Participants shared suggestions and approaches for ameliorating each of these barriers. This process revealed unique insights into barriers and opportunities for increasing AA engagement in aging and dementia research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • barriers research
  • photovoice
  • research engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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