Tyra Dark

In Funded Scholars
Tyra Dark 2



Research Faculty
Florida State University

Professional Bio

Tyra Dark, PhD, a chronic disease epidemiologist, is Research Faculty in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Florida.  Dr. Dark is specifically interested in the comorbidity of mental illness and cardiometabolic syndrome, identifying the unique health care needs of this population, and the role of race/ethnicity on delivery of care.  Her current research focuses on identifying how care is delivered to this population to uncover potential contributors of racial/ethnic disparities that can inform future policy or other health care delivery interventions to improve outcomes and reduce observed disparities. She has conducted several studies focused on examining emergency department visits for anxiety disorders, including an epidemiologic assessment of the content of care during those visits.  This research has resulted in the submission and publication of scientific articles highlighting these study findings. Additionally, she received the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections award allowing her to continue research in the area of cardiometabolic syndrome and comorbid anxiety disorder.  Dr. Dark will apply this knowledge and insight to health services research to examine influences on the delivery of health care.


Project Description

With the goal of strengthening integration of health services and systems, this study addresses equitable care among racial/ethnic groups with comorbid anxiety disorder and cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS), a major risk factor for premature CVD and stroke. Specific Aims: Identify racial/ethnic differences in emergency department and inpatient hospital utilization among people with anxiety-CMS comorbidity. Examine the mediating effect of anxiety treatment status on the association between race/ethnicity and healthcare utilization.  Research Question: What are the racial/ethnic patterns of healthcare utilization in the study population? Does the relationship between race/ethnicity and healthcare utilization for CMS treatment vary by anxiety treatment status? Conceptual Model: Donabedian’s quality framework and Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization. Methods: Using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey) data, logistic regression models will be estimated.

Why did you apply to New Connections

New Connections has an unparalleled history of providing support to underrepresented minorities as they begin, and progress through, their journey to a successful research career.

Research Interests

Dr. Dark is specifically interested in the comorbidity of mental illness and cardiometabolic syndrome, identifying the unique health care needs of this population, and the role of race/ethnicity on delivery of care.


Dark T, Flynn HA, Rust G, Kinsell H, Harman, JS.  Epidemiology of emergency department visits for anxiety in the United States: 2009-2011. Psychiatric Services.  Published online: October 17, 2016: http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201600148

Dark, T., Rust, G., Flynn, H., Kinsell, H. Harman, J.S.  Sociodemographic influences of emergency department care for anxiety disorders.  Under review.

Becker A., Dark T. (corresponding author), Mason T., Goodwin B. 2005 Hurricane Surveillance: Measures to Reduce Carbon Monoxide Poisonings in all Floridians. Journal of Environmental Health, 74(9), 2012, pp. 16-21.

Wiltshire J., Dark T, Brown, RL, Person S. Gender Differences in Financial Hardships of Medical Debt. Journal of Health Care of the Poor and Underserved, 22(1), 2011, pp. 371-388.

Ross L, Dark T, Orom H, Underwood W, Anderson-Lewis C, Johnson J, Erwin D.  Patterns of Information Behavior and Prostate Cancer Knowledge Among African American Men. Journal of Cancer Education, 26(4), 2011, pp 708-716.

Ross, L., Ashford, A.D., Bleechington, S.J., Dark, T., & Erwin, D.O. Applicability of a video intervention to increase informed decision making for prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing among African-American men with different levels of health literacy. Journal of the National Medical Association, 102(3), 2010.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2017
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Strengthening Integration of Health Services and Systems
  • Project Name: Assessing racial/ethnic disparities in healthcare utilization for people with cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) and comorbid anxiety disorder

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