September 1, 2015
Center NewsSEED Method

Written by: Isra Malik, an MPH student at Virginia Commonwealth University who completed a summer internship at the Center on Society and Health

The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded research study at VCU’s Center on Society and Health (CSH) recently completed several major project milestones. The SEED Method, a novel approach developed by Dr. Emily Zimmerman (PI), is designed to engage community stakeholders in developing research questions around health related topics. This demonstration project is being led by a community research team, Engaging Richmond, and is working with community members to learn more about diet compliance for individuals impacted by diabetes and hypertension.

CSH staff and Engaging Richmond community researchers have been hard at work on the first demonstration of the SEED method that is being conducted with residents in the East End of Richmond, VA. Dr. Zimmerman recently facilitated several meetings and assisted stakeholder participants in brainstorming about important factors that influence diet compliance, developing conceptual models that diagram the complex relationships that exist between these factors; and creating a set of research questions that reflect their concerns and priorities.

The participants who were involved in this exercise included three groups of stakeholders impacted by diabetes or hypertension, either personally or professionally as service providers, all of whom brought a tremendous amount of personal experience, expertise, and knowledge to the project. Each group contributed a unique viewpoint, and developed models and research questions that reflected these differences.

The photos illustrate conceptual models being developed by stakeholder groups. There were several overlapping factors that all groups included in their model, and many that were unique to each individual group as well. These conceptual models were a preliminary step in trying to better understand factors affecting diet compliance for those with chronic diseases in the East End, in order to develop research questions that are relevant and important to each group of community stakeholders.

Below are photos of conceptual models of factors affecting diet compliance for diabetes and hypertension, as developed by stakeholder groups.

SEED model 1 SEED model 2 SEED model 3