Deliya Banda Wesley, PhD, MPH, is the Scientific Director for Health Equity Research in the Healthcare Delivery Research Network at MedStar Health Research Institute. She is also an assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Dr. Wesley has expertise in health disparities and patient-level factors that impact communication and influence health decision-making. Her research focuses on the unique cultural and contextual factors impacting how racial and ethnic minorities access and utilize health services, with a focus on how patient-facing digital technologies can be optimized for use among the underserved. She is interested in adapting health information technologies to address the unique needs of vulnerable populations, especially racial and ethnic minorities and those with limited literacy. Dr. Wesley is passionate about using research to improve health outcomes and foster health equity.
Dr. Wesley’s research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including The Journal of Biomedical Informatics, The Oncologist, and the Journal of Urban Health. She earned her Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology at The George Washington University School of Public Health. She has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in behavioral and community health from the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
Dr. Wesley’s research interests include
- Health disparities
- Health equity
- Social determinants of health
- Patient-provider communication
- Patient-reported outcomes
- Health literacy and health communication
Designing for Demographics: Optimizing the Usability of Patient Portals
Dr. Wesley is the Principal Investigator on this RO3 sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This project applies the science of human factors with a health equity lens to identify patient needs when accessing and interacting with patient portals. The goal of this project is to identify and characterize the factors differentiating patient portal users from non-users within five population subgroups and developing clear guidelines to represent their needs.
Advancing the Collection and Use of Patient Reported Outcomes Using Health Information Technology
Dr. Wesley is a Principal Investigator on this project sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The goal of this project is to understand the usability and functional requirements of stakeholders involved in the development, implementation, and use of patient reported outcome (PRO) applications, and to evaluate the implementation and use of two PRO apps by the end users in ambulatory care settings.
Ethical Issues in Health Disparities and Accrual to Clinical Trials
As a co-investigator and program coordinator for this NIH-sponsored study, Dr. Wesley developed a 15-minute culturally targeted video designed to increase participation by African American cancer patients in therapeutic clinical trials. This research included development of an instrument to assess patient attitudes on six barriers to enrollment and an assessment of the video’s impact on these attitudes in a population of African American cancer patients.
Innovative Approach to Improving Diabetes Self-Management among Black Patients
Dr. Wesley is principal investigator on this project sponsored by MedStar Health to develop and pilot an innovative digital tool to evaluate diabetes self-management among black patients using social support and social network analysis.