Kennedy Krieger Participates in NIH Research to Identify Barriers to COVID-19 Testing

Kennedy Krieger Institute staff members implemented fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) sessions with parents and guardians of students attending Kennedy Krieger School Programs to identify facilitators and barriers to COVID-19 testing, in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development (UMKC-IHD). This work is a part of the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics in Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) grant, which is aimed at “increasing reach, access, uptake, and impact for COVID-19 testing in underserved and/or vulnerable populations.”

The first session was held on January 14. To date, Kennedy Krieger study team members have facilitated eight FCM sessions, with a total of 32 participants. UMKC-IHD study team members have facilitated eighteen FCM sessions, with a total of 53 participants. Study team members developed a code book based on common themes that arose during the sessions.

Study team members are in the process of coding the maps to identify the significance of the facilitators and barriers listed by parents and guardians. Kennedy Krieger and UMKC-IHD have developed a local survey for special education school personnel in Maryland and Missouri based on facilitators for, and barriers to, COVID-19 testing. The local survey will be disseminated soon, followed by a national survey.

Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS, MCDD director; Eve Lukowski, MCDD administrative services coordinator; and Megan Meck, MCDD data coordinator, are participating in this project on behalf of the MCDD. Bradley L. Schlaggar, MD, PhD, President & CEOClaudaya Hood Bey; Erin Jones, BA; and Luke Kalb, PhD, all of the Institute’s Neuropsychology Department, and Linda Myers, EdD, the Institute’s vice president of school autism services, complete the Kennedy Krieger team.