Research of Rebekah Pratt

headshotRebekah Pratt, PhD, is a primary care researcher focused on health disparities, particularly in immigrant and refugee families and communities. As faculty in the Program in Health Disparities Research (PHDR), she engages in highly collaborative, community based and interdisciplinary studies that bridge academic research with community health needs.

A native New Zealander, Dr Pratt earned her PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where she worked in mental health in primary care research. When she came to Minnesota in 2010, she recognized similar needs in the Somali community in Minneapolis as those found in her prior work in Scotland, where issues of low literacy rates and stigma surrounding mental health issues contributed to health disparities. Her research began to focus on these issues within the Somali community, particularly in relation to mental health and cancer prevention.

Dr. Pratt’s collaborative research with local Imam Sharif Mohamed examined whether religion - which has often been cited as a barrier to preventive health screenings - could also be an asset for public health within the Somali community. In partnership with the mosque leader, she tested the use of faith-based messages to promote cancer screenings among a population that has traditionally been less responsive in this area. Further studies have included key partnerships with clinics that serve the Somali community, and include a focus on HPV vaccination and an intervention to increase health literacy.

Dr. Pratt's research focuses on health disparity issues within the Somali community, particularly in relation to mental health and cancer prevention.

Dr. Pratt is also a qualitative methodologist and has worked with many collaborators in a range of health disparities areas. She has utilized Video Reflexive Ethnography (VRE) to study the communication between Somali patients and their providers, with the goal of creating and piloting patient information materials that are tailored to address the needs of patients. Dr Pratt has always been committed and involved in researching topics that explore the impact of the social determinants of health, including exploring how to build strong public health and primary care collaboration and being part of the team that developed the Patient Centered Assessment Method (PCAM), a tool to help medical practitioners assess the social determinants of health to improve patient care.

In her role at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Dr. Pratt collaborates with faculty on grants and teaches in the Collaborative Scholarship Intensive, a 6-month workshop focused on helping academic faculty merge the clinical, educational, and research elements of developing and publishing scholarly work. She also guest teaches in the School of Public Health.

Select Publications

Select Publications

Pratt R, Gyllsrom B, Gearin K, Lange C, Hahn D, Baldwin L, VanRaemdonck L, Nease D, and Zahner S. Identifying barriers to collaboration between primary care and public health: Experiences at the local level. Public Health Reports. 2018: 133(3), 311-317.

Gyllstrom E, Gearin K, Nease D, Bekemeier B, Pratt R. Measuring local public health and primary care collaboration: A practice-based research approach. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 2018; publish ahead of print, June.

Allen ML, Rosas-Lee M, Ortega L, Hang M, Pergament S, Pratt R. They just respect you for who you are: contributors to educator positive youth development promotion for Somali, Latino, and Hmong students. J Prim Prev. 2016;37(1):71-86.

Pratt R, Ahmed N, Noor S, Sharif H, Raymond N, Williams C. Addressing behavioral health disparities for Somali immigrants through group cognitive behavioral therapy led by community health workers [published online ahead of print Dec 31, 2015]. J Immigr Minor Health. doi: 10.1007/s10903-015-0338-2.

Pratt R, Hibberd C, Cameron IM, Maxwell M. The Patient Centered Assessment Method (PCAM): integrating the social dimensions of health into primary care. Journal of Comorbidity. 2015;5:110-9.

Onigbogi OO, Karatu D, Sanusi S, Pratt R, Okuyemi K. Exploring cigarette use among male migrant workers in Nigeria. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2015;4(4):221-7.

Raymond NC, Osman W, O’Brien JM...Pratt R, Okuyemi K. Culturally informed views on cancer screening: a qualitative study of the differences between older and young Somali immigrant women. BMC Public Health. 2014;14:1188.