Research

Understanding Factors Influencing Financial Exploitation among Diverse Samples of Older Adults

The financial exploitation (FE) of older adults is a significant social problem. With an increasing number of older adults using social media and the internet, scams and frauds are viewed as a rising threat to economic security of older adults. Read more

Stroke Caregiver Empowerment (STROKE-CARE)

The primary purpose of the Stroke Caregiver Empowerment Study is to refine STROKE-CARE for caregivers and explore changes in caregiver and care-recipient outcomes. Read more

Circadian Activity Profiling System

Supported by the Philips Grand Challenge and University of Pittsburgh Early Stage Commercialization Fund, Dr. Smagula is developing the first wearable system for tracking and identifying toxic circadian rest-activity patterns in real time. Read more

Depression in Dementia Caregivers

Supported by an NIMH-K01, this study is designed to further our understanding of: the neurobiology of stress and depression risk in caregivers; and how 24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disruption predicts depression risk and declines in brain health. Read more

Retaining Participants in Longitudinal Studies of Alzheimer’s Disease

Longitudinal studies of younger, symptom-free adults may be a critical to studying Alzheimer's Disease, however, such studies have a perceived research burden associated with biomarker collection procedures and annual assessments of clinical and neuropsychological functions. In addition, there is difficulty in both recruiting and retaining research participants.  Read more

Recruitment Innovations to Enhance Diversity in Alzheimers Disease Research

African Americans are consistently underrepresented in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders rearch projects, despite experiencing Alzheimer's-related health problems at a disproportionate rate. This is a nationally recognized problem. Researchers proprosed to develop and evaluate a novel storytelling strategy to enhance recruitment of African American adults.  Read more

Interprofessional Education Exchange Program (i-PEEP)

The Interprofessional Education Exchange Program, i-PEEP, is led by Pitt School of Nursing and engages faculty and graduate students from the Health Sciences together with community-based partners to accelerate students' application of vital IPC skills. Read more

Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program

The Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) is a consortium of the University of Pittsburgh, the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Penn State University, and UPMC, with Pitt as the lead institution. Through this collaboration we are able to provide interprofessional training and access to resources for older adults and their families throughout HHS Region III. Read more

Return of Amyloid Imaging Research Results in Mild Cognitive Impairment

Brain amyloid imaging is a premortem test for Alzheimers Disease pathology which has been previously witheld from research participants and their families. As texts, amyloid imaging in particular, become more reliable and potentially clinically significant, it seems necessary to revist this practice to allow for valuable prognostic and planning information. Read more

Alzheimer Disease Research Center Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core

The University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) is one of the nation's leading research centers specializing in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Read more

Widowed Elders' Lifestyle after Loss (WELL)

Apart from the emotional strain of losing a spouse, there are profound changes to bereaved survivors' lifestyle and daily routine. Losing a spouse leads to the absence of social cues that once kept daily routines properly entrained; bereaved elders suddenly feel no reason to wake up, eat meals, or go to bed at a particular time. These changes disrupt the stability of individuals' internal chronobiological rhythms, placing them at high risk for mood disorders like depression.  Read more

PACE Project

The PACE Study was an observational study which collected extensive survey and qualitative interview data from adults with complex diabetes who had significant involvement in their healthcare from a supportive family member or friend. Read more

Family Action for Health Program

The study, Comparative Effectiveness of Adding Family Supporter Training and Engagement to a CHW-Led Intervention to Improve Behavioral Management of Multiple Risk Factors for Diabetes Complications, compares the use of the Family Partners for Health Action (FAM-ACT) program to individual patient-focused diabetes self-management education and care management. Read more

Caring Others Increases Engagement in PACT

The CO-IMPACT study, funded by Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, is a randomized clinical trial comparing two methods of increasing engagement in care and success in diabetes management among patients with diabetes with high-risk features who also have family members involved in their care.  Read more

Differences in Reporting Child’s Health and Developmental Concerns Between Mothers and Fathers

In two parent households, even when both parents work outside the home, much of the child rearing responsibilities fall to mothers. When fathers attend clinic appointments, anecdotal observations indicate that fathers are less informed about their children’s health than mothers. This raises an important question, do fathers report the same health and health care needs differently than mothers?  Read more

Characterization of the Emotional and Physical Health of Mothers of Children with Special Health Care Needs in the United States

Summary - Families of children with a special health care need face significant challenges in many aspects of their lives including increased work loss and difficulty accessing nonmedical services. This research project aimed to characterize associations between child, family, community, and health care-level factors with the emotional and physical health of mothers of children with special health care needs (CSHCN).  Read more

Bright (optimism) IDEAS

Bright (optimism) IDEAS (Identify, Define, Evaluate, Act, See if it worked) is a problem solving skills training targeting professionals currently providing psychosocial care to children with cancer and their families. Read more

Improving Decision Making for Patients with Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation

This randomized trial out of Duke University, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of Washington, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), investigated the use of an internet-based decision aid to improve the quality of decision making for surrogate decision makers of patients in intensive care.  Read more

Improving Psychological Distress Among Critical Illness Survivors and Their Informal Caregivers

This randomized trial out of Duke University, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of Washington, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), studied post-ICU-discharge issues of depression, anxiety, and PTSD among patients and their caregivers.  Read more

Communicating with Surrogate Decision Makers About Incapacitated ICU Patients’ Values

One barrier to patient-centered decision-making for incapacitated patients, such as those with acute respiratory failure, is that clinicians do not consistently elicit and incorporate patients' values when communicating with the patients' surrogate decision makers. This research project looks to develop three research tools to better facilitate future interventions and improve this problem.  Read more

Developing a Communication and Shared Decision Making Tool to Prepare Family Members in ICUs for the Role of Surrogate Decision Maker

This research project, funded by the National Institute on Aging, investigates ways to improve the quality of surrogate decision makers in the ICU through the development and deployment of a web-based communication and decision support tool and a reliable care process to integrate the tool into routine practice. Read more

PARTNER Program

Researchers developed the PARTNER (PAiring Re-engineered ICU Teams with Nurse-driven Education and OutReach) program, which is a 4-facet, team-based intervention that reengineers how surrogates are supported in the ICU.  Read more

PARTNER II: Improving Patient and Family Centered Care in Advanced Critical Illness

PARTNER II is a comparative effectiveness trial with the overarching goal to ensure patient-centered decisions about the use of intensive treatments for patients with advanced critical illness as well as support for their family members and friends.  Read more

Family Support Intervention in Intensive Care Units: A randomized trial to improve surrogate decision-making for critically ill elders

Some caregivers may find themselves in the role of surrogate decision maker for their friend or loved one. The goal of this study is to conduct a multicenter efficacy trial of teh Four Supports Intervention among 400 critically ill older adults to reduce their long term symptoms of depression and anxiety. Read more

Self-management via Health Kiosk by community-residing older adults

This project studies older adults’ views, motivations, and patterns of use of an adaptive, community-based, multi-user health kiosk over 18 months of study participation. The goal is to understand how and why older adults use a health kiosk to live a healthier lifestyle and monitor and manage selected chronic conditions. Read more

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