More than 5 million Americans are living with dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association. That number continues to grow. Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions is one of 30 top research institutions benefiting from a $53.4 million National Institute on Aging grant to Brown University and Harvard University to improve health care and quality of life for people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and their caregivers.
Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, distinguished university professor and dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, will co-lead one of eight core groups in the massive research collaborative.
The initiative, called Imbedded Pragmatic Alzheimer's Disease or Alzheimer's-Related Dementia (AD/ADRD) Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Collaboratory, will support 40 pilot projects aimed at improving care delivery, quality and outcomes for persons with dementias. The College of Nursing and Health Professions will receive $1.5 million of the grant award.
Projects will benefit from guidance from the collaboratory's community of experts, who will assist with ethical concerns (such as how to secure informed consent from people living with dementia); technical support and generation of data on participant populations; statistics and project design; advice on how to measure patient- and caregiver-reported outcomes; dissemination of results and efforts to maximize the likelihood of implementation; partnering with health care systems interested in conducting trials; project administration; training for junior researchers; inclusion of and applicability to people of all backgrounds and cultures; and best practices to engage people interested in this work, including people living with dementia and their caregivers, health care systems and researchers.
The dissemination and implementation core, which Gitlin co-leads with Joseph Gaugler, PhD, from the University of Minnesota, will benefit from her extensive expertise in translating evidence-based interventions for delivery in health care and community-based systems of care and end users.
"This project will dramatically shift the paradigm of care for people living with Alzheimer's and related dementias and their care partners," said Gitlin. "I am honored to help researchers nationally focus on imbedding interventions in health systems and facilitate broad-scale implementation of non-pharmacological care programs that improve the quality of life for both persons living with dementia and their caregivers."
For more information about the IMPACT Collaboratory, visit Brown University's website.