Understanding and addressing health issues facing Muslims through PCOR/CER

Bridging the Gap: Empowering the American Muslim Community through Patient-Centered Health Research

In today’s diverse society, it is crucial to recognize and address the unique healthcare concerns of various communities. Unfortunately, the American Muslim community has often been overlooked in research and healthcare initiatives. A lack of knowledge and capacity for patient-centered outcomes research/comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) has hindered opportunities for community-based health research among American Muslims. Recognizing this gap, Dr. Ayaz Hyder and Dr. Aasim Padela, supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), embarked on a groundbreaking project to empower Muslim community organizations and enhance their engagement in PCOR/CER. Let’s delve deeper into their journey and the significant impact it has had on the American Muslim community.

Building Knowledge and Capacity:

In 2021, Dr. Ayaz Hyder and Dr. Aasim Padela secured a prestigious $200,000 grant from PCORI to educate and empower Muslim community organizations, namely ISLA (Islamic Schools Leagues of North America) and ISPU (Institute for Social Policy and Understanding), on PCOR/CER research. This initiative aimed to bridge the knowledge gap and equip these organizations with the necessary tools to engage in patient-centered research that addresses the health-related concerns of American Muslims.

Learning and Applying the Framework:

Since receiving the grant, the ISLA-PCOR research team has been actively involved in a series of learning activities. Driven by their commitment to the cause, they diligently familiarized themselves with the PCOR/CER framework and methodology. This hands-on learning approach allowed the team to gain practical insights and understanding, enabling them to apply this knowledge to real issues faced by Islamic schools and Muslim communities.

Research Convening for Action:

Finally, on May 14-15, 2023, a momentous research convening took place in Chicago, IL. Dr. Shaza Khan, ISLA’s Executive Director, Dr. Samar Al-Majaideh, ISLA’s Research Project Manager, Dr. Amber Khan, author of “Islamic Health,” and Qur’an Shakir, an ISLA Board Member, joined forces to put their newfound knowledge into action. Collaborating closely with Dr. Hyder and Dr. Padela, they worked tirelessly to create a comprehensive toolkit tailored specifically for Islamic schools. This toolkit serves as a valuable resource, providing guidance and support for Islamic schools to actively engage in PCOR/CER, ultimately enhancing their understanding of the challenges faced by Muslim communities.

Empowering the American Muslim Community:

The research convening not only produced a practical toolkit but also paved the way for a real project to be implemented in Islamic schools. By embedding PCOR/CER methodologies into these schools, the American Muslim community can contribute to generating evidence-based research that addresses their unique health concerns. This newfound engagement in patient-centered research ensures that the voices and needs of American Muslims are represented, leading to more inclusive and culturally sensitive healthcare practices.



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