Read the new National Institute on Aging (NIA) summary report developed from the National Research Summit on Care, Services, Support for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers held during the summer of 2020. The summit was co-chaired by center director and summit steering committee Jennifer Wolff and David Reuben of UCLA. View the full report here.
A study led by Halima Amjad and co-authors John Mulcahy, Judith Kasper, Julia Burgdorf, David Roth, Ken Covinsky, and Jennifer Wolff in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined a nationally representative cohort of older adults with disabilities. Increased risk of hospitalization at 12 months was associated with having a primary caregiver who helped with healthcare tasks, reported physical strain, and provided more than 40 hours of care weekly. The findings suggest that hospitalization risk reduction strategies may benefit from understanding and addressing caregiving circumstances. Read more
The Hopkins’ Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Services (HEADS) Center is a new research center that seeks to improve the care and lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The Center is led by Jennifer Wolff, PhD, Eugene and Mildred Lipitz Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Healthcare and Daniel Polsky, PhD, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Economics and Director of the Hopkins Business of Health Initiative.
The HEADS Center focuses on both understanding the full range of care needs and identifying and advancing solutions that address accessibility, affordability, quality, and equity of care. The Center will take a cross-school, interdisciplinary approach to build collaborations among faculty across the University and include the following initiatives:
- Funding to support novel pilot studies to advance population-based research and attract investigators to the field,
- The development of a high-capacity, secure computing environment to support novel population-based data analyses, and
- Community-building activities to support use of research resources, the dissemination of scientific findings, and partnerships with key stakeholders and advocacy organizations to translate findings into policy and practice.
Stress, Burden, and Well-Being in Dementia and Non-Dementia Caregivers: Insights from the Caregiving Transitions Study.
In a study led by Orla Sheehan and co-authors William Haley, Virginia Howard, Jin Huang, David Rhodes, and David Roth published in the Gerontologist found that dementia caregivers reported higher appraisals of stress and burden, and more depressive symptoms, but did not differ from non-dementia caregivers on mental and physical health quality of life. Clinical interventions and policy changes targeting highly burdened caregivers are needed to support them in allowing their care recipients to age in place at home. Read more.
Longitudinal Analysis of Dementia Diagnosis and Specialty Care Among Racially Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries
Study by Emmanuel Drabo, Douglas Barthold, Geoffrey Joyce, Patricia Ferido, Helena Chang Chui and Julie Zissimopoulos in Alzheimer's & Dementia analyzes trends in dementia diagnosis & subsequent use of specialty care up to 5 years post-diagnosis. The study finds 85% of persons diagnosed with dementia are diagnosed by a non-specialist and the likelihood of seeing a specialist within 1 year (22%) & 5 years (36%) is low. The article discusses clinical and policy implications. ...Read More
How Clinicians Discuss Medications During Primary Care Encounters Among Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment
Study by Ariel Green, Jennifer Wolff, Diane Echavarria, Malcolm Chapman, Annie Phung, Devon Smith, and Cynthia Boyd in Journal of General Internal Medicine examines how primary care clinicians discuss medications with older adults with cognitive impairment and their companions. The study offers insight into key language clinicians can use to initiate discussions about optimizing prescribing, as well as barriers they face in doing so. ...Read More
Article by Brenda Spillman, Vicki Freedman, Judith Kasper and Jennifer Wolff provides national estimates of caregiving networks for older adults with and without dementia and examine how these networks develop over time. Most prior research has focused on primary caregivers and rarely on change over time....Read More
Clinicians' Perspectives on Barriers and Enablers of Optimal Prescribing in Patients with Dementia and Coexisting Conditions.
Study finds that clinicians encountered numerous challenges to optimizing prescribing for patients with dementia, which likely explains why high rates of polypharmacy and PIM use persist in this population. Clinicians used a variety of strategies to discuss risks and benefits of medications with patients and caregivers and to raise the issue of deprescribing, suggesting that communication about optimal use of medications in people with dementia is an area of uncertainty....Read More
Symptom burden is higher in patients with dementia. Dementia and physical symptoms are associated with social activity limitations. Older patients with dementia or physical symptoms may benefit from earlier emphasis on palliative care and quality of life....Read More
Advance care planning (ACP) is a communication process that supports adults at any age or stage of health in understanding and sharing their personal values, life goals, and preferences regarding future medical care. A new study will refine and test an ACP intervention for older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias through engagement of family....Read More