News & Events


July 9, 2014

TCU-BASICS Project Meetings on-site and at IWRI

IMG_0012Two ambitious drug and alcohol studies were launched this spring by the Center for Indigenous Health Research, part of the IWRI-NCE, in partnership with tribal colleges and the UW’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and the Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors. One, the Tribal Colleges and Universities Behavioral Health Adaptation of an Evidence-Based Intervention (TCU-BASICS),* proposes to create a specific cultural modification of the BASICS intervention which has not yet been tested or modified with American Indian and Alaska Native students. The second study is the TCU Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health Epidemiologic Behavioral Wellness Study (TCU ADME).**

From April through June 2014, IWRI personnel from the Tribal Colleges and Universities Behavioral Health Adaptation of an Evidence-Based Intervention (TCU-BASICS) research project visited four tribal colleges and visits are planned for two more site visits in July. In addition, on June 16 sixteen Presidents and key administrative personnel from eight TCUs gathered at IWRI for an all-day orientation and discussion of the BASICS study. Principal Investigator Bonnie Duran offered an overview of the study, and addressed topics such as “Study Benefits for TCU Communities,” “Cultural Adaptation of Behavioral Health Interventions,” and “Policy Intervention. Together with co-investigators Dennis Donovan, UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute; Mary Larimer, UW Centers for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors; Myra Parker, IWRI; Maya Magarati, IWRI; and Billie Jo Kipp, American Indian Higher Education Consortium Research Committee, Duran presented a demonstration of the BASICS intervention, and addressed recruitment strategies and implementation details. The feedback from participants was invaluable and the discussions were animated, especially when TCU personnel detailed unique-to-Indian Country environmental factors that will affect how the study will be adapted and implemented in TCU.

The TCU-BASICS study is being conducted in tandem with the TCU-ADME. This will be the first-ever survey conducted at 24 (out of 37) TCU that measures the prevalence of alcohol, drugs and mental health issues among students. It delves into and introduces Native-specific factors such as historical trauma and environmental colonialism that are often ignored or missing in mainstream surveys. The TCU-ADME study will be launched in the 2014-2015 fall academic term and will serve as the baseline for the TCU-BASICS study. Out of the 24 TCU participating in the survey, six TCU will be BASICS intervention sites; the small number of intervention sites is reflective of federal funding limitations. However, the manual that the research team will generate from the Native-specific adaptation of BASICS holds the promise of becoming an invaluable tool applicable to all TCU.

The inclusion of Native-specific factors in the survey, as well as cultural adaptations for the intervention requires a high degree of collaborative community-based participatory research. The intentional person-to-person contacts established over the past four years provide an increasing level of trust and respect that promotes free exchange of suggestions and helpful criticisms. IWRI personnel visits to TCU provide an environmental context that would otherwise not be gained. Partnering TCU visits to IWRI gives them the confidence about IWRI’s capacity and sincerity. The lengthy time it has taken to develop partnerships and relationships is proving crucial to the successful launching of these two studies.DSC_0193


*Tribal Colleges and Universities Behavioral Health Adaptation of an Evidence-Based Intervention (TCU-BASICS) is funded by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Award #R01-AA022068.
**TCU Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health Epidemiological Behavioral Wellness Study (TCU ADME) is funded through the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Award #P60-MD006909.