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Iowa Researcher Receives NIH Grant to Study Racial and Gender Disparities among People Seeking Help for Problem Drinking

Dr. Paul Gilbert, assistant professor of community and behavioral health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, has received an R21 research grant from the National Institute On Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health to study factors responsible for racial and gender disparities among people seeking treatment for alcohol abuse.

[Photo: Dr. Paul Gilbert]

According to the grant abstract, “Alcohol abuse and dependence are responsible for considerable public health harms; yet, the majority of people with an alcohol use disorder do not receive treatment and some social groups are less likely than others to receive alcohol services.”

Dr. Gilbert says the overarching goal of this study is to test a model that will explain these existing disparities and thinks that identifying the mechanisms responsible will mean that interventions can be developed to address these issues.

Specific aims of the study include: (1) testing in longitudinal data previously observed racial/ethnic and gender disparities in alcohol service use; (2) assessing whether differential levels of enabling factors (e.g., educational attainment; insurance coverage) and inhibiting factors (e.g., discrimination; poverty) explain how gender moderates the effect of race/ethnicity on alcohol services use; and (3) assessing barriers to alcohol services use by race/ethnicity and gender among those with an AUD who did not seek help for their drinking.