Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar Receives Federal Grant for Research on Preventative Behavioral Health

Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar
Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar

Assistant professor Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar is the recipient of a 3-year R34 Research Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health. The R34 Planning Grant Program provides support for the initial development of a clinical trial or research project.

The title of the grant is Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptoms Via a Family-centered Preventative Intervention for Immigrants: A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Trial. The project period is June 2020 through May 2023.

Poudel-Tandukar’s research seeks to provide culturally-tailored preventative behavioral interventions aimed at reducing stress and preventing mental health problems among immigrants.

The research will focus on developing community-based preventative behavioral health interventions that reduce the burden of mental health disparity. The project will develop, implement and pilot test the first culturally-tailored, family-based, low-cost, scalable, multi-component preventative behavior intervention to reduce stress and prevent mental health problems among immigrants.

Poudel-Tandukar explains, “Immigrant mental health is an important and somewhat neglected field in mental health services research and in particular in prevention program research, despite the high prevalence of distress and mental health problems among immigrant populations in the United States. Focusing on prevention is important and innovative in the immigrant mental health field right now, which tends to focus on treatment and getting people into care. Our research proposes a culturally tailored multimodal preventive intervention for immigrants who are experiencing stress and distress – an important gap in our current set of program and intervention strategies for this high-risk population. Developing, implementing, and evaluating the preventative intervention in the community with peer-providers provides for the potential to impact practice and public health in a sustainable way. Thus, in this project, we plan to deliver multi-model preventive intervention including stress management, mind-body relaxation exercise, problem solving, and behavioral activation in family settings over a five-week period through trained community interventionists in collaboration with church leaders.”

At the completion of the project, the team will have developed and pilot-tested a family-based, culturally-tailored intervention which will have a significant positive impact on improving the mental health of immigrants and their families and will also empower the community to take a leading role in this effort.