UAB, UT get $2.39 million grant to study financial consequences of COVID-19

UAB, UT get $2.39 million grant to study financial consequences of COVID-19
(Source: Emily Wakeman)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center received a $2.39 million grant to study how COVID-19 has affected people financially and then emotionally.

The teams will create the Emotional Well-being and Economic Burden Research Network.

Data shows some people suffering from COVID-19 have trouble paying for their treatment. Those concerns also affect patients seeking cancer treatment, emergency care, surgery and more.

Researchers said not enough attention has been given to how the financial consequences of a disease affect a person’s emotional well-being.

“We not only need more researchers, but need researchers from different fields of study to truly understand this topic in depth,” said Maria Pisu, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine at UAB.

Pisu, along with Michelle Martin, Ph.D., director of the Center for Innovation in Health Equity Research at UTHSC and professor in the UTHSC Department of Preventive Medicine, will collaborate to understand the relationships between financial burden, emotional well-being and broader health outcomes.

EMOT-ECON will include researchers from different disciplines, patients and caregivers, health care providers, and others with personal or professional interest and experience with certain research topics.

“Our work will advance understanding of financial burden and emotional well-being and generate the body of knowledge necessary for developing interventions that minimize the impact of financial burden and enhance emotional well-being,” Martin said.

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