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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU professor awarded grant to study technology and behavior change

New Mexico State University School of Nursing Associate Professor Kristynia Robinson is the lead investigator on an Institutional Development Award Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) project to study technology use to support behavior change for adults with chronic conditions in rural and underserved populations.

A man, left, two women and two men sit around a table.
(Left to right) James Kenyon, University of Nevada, Kristynia Robinson, NMSU associate professor, Cindy Kratzke, NMSU assistant professor, Vimal Chaitanya, NMSU vice president for research, and Bob Langer, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, discussed research opportunities for NMSU faculty. Robinson received a $50,000 grant to study technology and behavior change. (NMSU photo by Tiffany Acosta)

The $50,000 sub-award grant is funded from the National Institutes of Health through the Mountain West Research Consortium. For her project, ?Technology Use to Support Behavior Change: A Pilot Study,? Robinson will be working with co-investigator Cindy Kratzke, NMSU public health sciences assistant professor, and Beatriz Favela, Southern Area Health Education Center (SoAHEC) program operations director.

?I?m truly exited to be a new faculty member at NMSU and lucky to have this excellent opportunity to work with a strong, interdisciplinary research team,? Robinson said. ?We are excited to do a pilot study looking at outcomes of using technology in chronic disease self-management program community workshops.?

The four-month project is going to examine the impact of chronic disease self-management program workshop outcomes using mobile technology in rural and underserved areas in Southern New Mexico. With minority populations in rural areas having an increased interest in mobile phone usage, mobile messages, applications and texting, the project will evaluate if access to this technology can prompt behavior changes.

With funding from the grant, local promotoras are going to use iPad air devices, which will assist in their knowledge base and collect data for the project. Training for the promotoras will begin March 5.

Chronic illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, pain, cancer or asthma account for 75 percent of health care costs in the country. A 2012 report on chronic conditions by the Institute of Medicine stressed the need for improved coordinated activities with programs in community-based settings. Community prevention education or disease management programs are vital in rural and underserved communities because of the lack of access to providers. Out of New Mexico?s 33 counties, 26 are considered rural.