Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center

Kenneth Covinsky M.D., M.P.H.
Principal Investigator
  415-221-4810 x 24363
Sarah Ngo
Program Administrator
  415-221-4810 x 25450

Established in 2013, the UCSF Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center focuses on addressing predictors, outcomes, and amelioration of late-life disability in vulnerable populations. Late-life disability, defined as needing help with daily activities, is common, burdensome, and costly to patients, families, and society. Late-life disability is influenced by medical vulnerabilities (including comorbid illnesses, aspects of medical care, medicines, procedures, neuropsychiatric conditions, and behaviors), social vulnerabilities (social supports, financial resources, communication and literacy, and ethnicity), and their interaction. The overriding goal of the UCSF OAIC is to improve the health care and quality of life of vulnerable older adults with or at risk for disability through the following aims:

  1. Catalyze research on disability in vulnerable older persons at UCSF by serving as a hub that brings together scholars and leverages resources
  2. Provide tangible, high-value support to funded projects at UCSF that stimulates new research on disability, and leads to new research opportunities for senior and junior investigators
  3. Support pilot studies that accelerate gerontologic science and lead to research funding in late life disability
  4. Identify the future leaders of geriatrics research and support them with career development funding and exceptional mentoring
  5. Develop a leadership and administrative structure that spurs interdisciplinary collaboration, making the OAIC greater than the sum of its parts

Our Center supports researchers who share our passion for improving the well-being of older persons. We view our resources as venture capital that will catalyze the careers and research paths of investigators who will do cutting edge research that advances the care, health, and wellbeing of older persons, both within the UCSF community and nationally.

Leadership and Administrative Core (LAC)
Leader 1:    Ken Covinsky, MD, MPH
The Leadership Administrative Core (LAC) plays the central role in coordinating the five UCSF OAIC cores, in maintaining communication across programs, and identifying new opportunities, both within and outside the OAIC. The LAC monitors the success of each core based on tangible metrics of productivity: Research leading to publications in the highest impact journals and new NIH grant funding. The LAC monitors, stimulates, evaluates, remediates, and reports progress toward the goals of the OAIC. The LAC also maintains the substantial collaborations with other UCSF research centers, including the UCSF CTSI and RCMAR, and seeks to establish new collaborations which will leverage OAIC resources and develop new and established investigators in aging research. The overall goal of the LAC is to provide the leadership and administration to support the activities of the entire UCSF OAIC.

Research Education Component (REC)
Leader 1:    Louise Walter, MD
Leader 2:    Kristine Yaffe, MD
The Research Education Component (REC) identifies, supports, and nurtures talented junior investigators who will become national leaders in aging research through the REC Scholars Program and Advanced Scholars Program. The REC Scholars Program targets early career faculty and seeks to accelerate their path towards NIA K awards. The Advanced Scholars Program targets current K award recipients and accelerates the path towards their first R01. Both programs provide extensive mentoring and opportunities to participate in an innovative series of seminars designed to develop skills essential to success in aging research, facilitate interdisciplinary communication, build knowledge and relationships that will stimulate translation between basic and clinical research, and accelerate their productivity. The REC leadership also works with leaders of the Resource Cores to provide scholars access to additional support. These mentorship and curricular programs help junior investigators progress along the pathways that lead to high impact publications and grant funding that develops the scholar’s national reputation as a leader in their area. Mentoring services, seminar series, resource core services, and programmatic support are also available to Associate Scholars whose goals are to develop careers in aging research. A particular focus of the Associate Scholars Program is junior faculty who have trained outside of geriatric medicine, but seek to incorporate Geriatric principles into their developing research program. The Research Education Component also sponsors a diversity supplement program to increase the number of faculty members from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds conducting aging research at UCSF.

Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (PESC)
Leader 1:    Alex Smith, MD, MS, MPH
Leader 2:    Sei Lee, MD
The Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) facilitates the development and progress of innovative research relating to the Pepper Center focus on the predictors, outcomes and outcomes of late-life disability, especially in vulnerable older populations. We are especially interested in the interaction of serious clinical conditions, disability, and social disadvantage. The goals of the PESC include: 1) Solicit and select innovative proposals from highly qualified applicants; 2) Provide investigators of PESC studies with the support and infrastructure of the OAIC Cores; 3) Integrate PESC studies and investigators with resources from the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and other relevant resources at UCSF; 4) Monitor the progress of PESC studies; and 5) Provide mentorship and resources to transform PESC funded studies into successful independently-funded projects. The PESC focuses on identifying projects from outstanding investigators who are conducting aging research that is likely to lead to external funding and is aligned with the OAIC theme.

Vulnerable Aging Recruitment and Retention Core (VARC)
Leader 1:    Rebecca Sudore, MD
Leader 2:    Krista Harrison
The Vulnerable Aging Recruitment and Retention Core (VARC) was established in the UCSF Pepper Center grant renewal application. It was developed in response to increased demand both within and outside UCSF to support research focused on improving the knowledge base regarding the needs of medically vulnerable (e.g., complex chronic disease, serious illness, profound cognitive or functional impairment) and/or socially vulnerable (e.g., isolated, impoverished, homeless, incarcerated, with limited literacy or limited English proficiency) older adults. Because these older adults are often particularly difficult to recruit and retain in clinical research, their representation in research is often limited. This impairs our knowledge about how to optimize their care. Therefore, the VARC core focuses on supporting OAIC-affiliated investigators to (1) recruit, enroll, and retain vulnerable older adults in research; (2) use appropriate measures to study their healthcare needs; and (3) engage communities in research about medically and/or socially vulnerable older adults.

Data and Analysis Core (DAC)
Leader 1:    Mike Steinman, MD
Leader 2:    John Boscardin, PhD
The Data and Analysis Core (DAC) provides OAIC investigators access to statistical services at all stages of the research lifecycle. Through the establishment of a central hub of statistical expertise, the DAC ensures smooth delivery of statistical knowledge and rigor across the spectrum of scientific research at the OAIC. This improves the quality of OAIC research studies, helps nurture trainees, facilitates interdisciplinary research groups, and ultimately enhances research on prediction, outcomes, and amelioration of late-life disability, especially in vulnerable populations. The DAC promotes wider use of state of the art statistical practice, lowers barriers of access to basic statistical services to all research groups including trainees, provides access to specialized statistical resources (such as state of the art prognostic model development, complex longitudinal and latent class analysis, and causal inference methods), and develops statistical procedures targeted to solving problems in aging research, and more specifically to challenges that commonly arise in research on disability and function.

REC Scholar, Research & Grants Funded During Pepper Supported Time Years /
Kenneth Lam, MD
Assistant Professor, Geriatrics / UCSF OAIC
Aging in place: a study of regional variation in risk-adjusted mean home time after hospitalization in older adults
“Aging in place” is the term used to describe the preference of older persons to remain independent and in communities of their own choosing as they get older. The surge of nursing home deaths during the pandemic has made aging in place an increasing priority, but the lack of robust objective methods to quantify aging in place makes it impossible to systematically improve efforts to support it. Aging in place is threatened by health crises and disability, and these threats often culminate with hospitalization. Regional variability in post-acute care utilization suggests it may be easier to age in place in some places compared to others, but measures counting days in one setting only (e.g., long-term care) fail to capture aging in place from the patient’s perspective. Harder still is determining how much lost home time is inevitable. For his project, Dr. Lam worked to identify adults over the age of 65 hospitalized in 2017 using a 5% Medicare sample to advance how to measure and use home time and how it may be applied to policies to help older adults stay independent in the face of disability while also reduce Medicare and Medicaid costs.
2021-2023 /
5 (total)
3 (1st/Sr)
Matt Miller, PT, PhD
Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy / UCSF OAIC
Physical inactivity and physical therapy use among older adults with cognitive impairment
Physical therapists commonly provide rehabilitative services to older adults and recommend targeted exercises to restore or maintain function; yet it is not known how many of these patients have underlying cognitive impairment that could undermine their ability to adhere to and benefit from physical therapy recommendations. Furthermore, there is growing evidence that regular adherence to physical activity recommendations can improve cognitive outcomes in people with MCI, potentially even delaying the onset of ADRD. Although physical therapists are uniquely trained to use exercise to improve function and achieve patient-centered goals, there is no evidence about how physical therapists identify cognitive impairment and tailor exercise or physical activity recommendations for older adults with cognitive impairment. As a PhD-trained physical therapist, Dr. Miller’s career goal is to become a national leader whose work improves health, disability, and quality of life for older adults with cognitive impairment.
2021-2022 /
2 (total)
2 (1st/Sr)
Tasce Bongiovanni, MD MPP
Assistant Professor, General Surgery / UCSF OAIC
Post-operative pain medication prescribing in older adults undergoing elective surgery
Understanding the patterns of postoperative pain medication prescribing in older adults, in particular among racial/ethnic minority groups, is an urgent public health concern. Accordingly, the overall objective of Dr. Bongiovanni’s REC project is to better understand pain medication prescribing in older adults in the postoperative period using national Medicare data. Her long-term career goal is to improve postoperative care and medication use in older adults.
2021-2022 /
4 (total)
4 (1st/Sr)

Past Scholars
Lindsey Hampson, MD, UCSF (2019-2020)
Elizabeth (Liz) Whitlock, MD, MS, UCSF (2019-2020)
Lauren Hunt, PhD, RN, FNP, UCSF (2019-2020)
Ashwin Kotwal, MD, UCSF (2019-2021)
Sachin Shah, MD, MPH, UCSF (2019-2020)
Scott Bauer, MD, MS, UCSF (2019-2020)
Willa Brenowitz, PhD, MPH, UCSF (2019-2020)
Sarah Nouri, MD, MPH, General Internal Medicine, UCSF (2020-2021)
Li-Wen Huang, MD , Division of Hematology/Oncology, UCSF (2020-2021)
James Iannuzzi, MD, MPH , Surgery, UCSF (2020-2021)

1. Project Title: Exploring the preferences and values of older adults with limited English proficiency during the hospital to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care transition
  Leader: James Harrison, MPH, PhD
  Transition care planning remains persistently medicalized, failing to be guided by patients’ own preferences for their recovery, and does not incorporate elements that support preferences related to independence, returning home and function, or factors that allow participation in family or community activities that provide a foundation for personal purpose, creativity or fun. Most studies to improve care transitions have focused on discharges to home, and few in comparison have studied the quality of SNF transitions and have not engaged diverse older adults with limited English proficiency (LEP) during this process. For some LEP patients, in addition to language barriers, communication around preferences and values are further complicated by a lack of trust in healthcare providers, perceived racism and differing views on autonomy and decision-making. Mismatched expectations and poorly communicated care plans can not only contribute to adverse clinical outcomes but also compromise trust between patients and clinicians, impair satisfaction, and lead to delivery of care that is discordant with the preferences of patients and caregivers. Although it is often expected that individual clinicians be responsible for optimal care transitions, it is arguably more effective for high quality transitions to be the shared responsibility of all stakeholders -patients, caregivers, hospitals, and SNFs. The aim of Dr. Harrison’s PESC study is to explore how patients with limited English Proficiency (LEP) and their caregivers anticipate and are prepared for a SNF discharge including how their preferences are incorporated into transition plans. Specifically, thisstudy will extend a grounded theory qualitative study that he is conducting as part of his National Institute of Aging (NIA) K01 by supporting the inclusion of older adults with LEP who speak Spanish, Cantonese and Russian. Data generated will then directly inform other elements of my work including the development and pilot implementation of a SNF Preparation Tool. Progress to date includes creating a stakeholder informed study protocol and interview guide, a recruitment approach and implementation plan. Interviews are about to commence at the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living. Interviews were delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic including new variants.
2. Project Title: Opioid Prescribing Trends in Medicare Beneficiaries with Dementia before and after the 2016 CDC Guidelines for Chronic Pain
  Leader: Ulrike Muench, RN, PhD, FAAN
  Since the peak of the opioid epidemic in 2012, prescription opioids have substantially decreased. One event that contributed to the reduction in opioid use was the release of the CDC guidelines on the management of chronic pain in 2016. The guidelines recommended the daily dose of morphine milligram equivalents (MME) to stay below 50 MME/day, to weigh the benefits and risks when increasing the daily dose to above 50 MME/day, and to increase to greater than 90MME/day only when it can be carefully justified. Research has found that since the release of the guideline clinicians have significantly reduced opioid prescriptions, as intended by the policy. However, evidence suggests that in some cases the recommendations were applied to patients with cancer pain, surgery, or acute sickle cell crises. In other cases, opioids were abruptly stopped or tapered, though mandated tapering is not supported by the guidelines. It has been suggested that the inappropriate reductions in opioid prescriptions are in part due to fear of scrutiny by law enforcement agencies such as the DEA, which registers prescribers of controlled substances and can obtain information about prescribing practices of most providers. Monitoring by state medical boards and state laws that mandate dose caps or reinforce the 90 MME threshold further contributed to prescribers reducing their MME. One study that interviewed providers reported that clinicians felt that the only way to protect themselves from liability was to stay rigidly at or below the CDC guideline’s 90 MME threshold and to disregard the emphasis on individualized patient care and respect for patient consent that are recognized within the guideline. The proposed study examines whether opioid use decreased systematically differently in persons with dementia (PWD) compared to persons without dementia (PWOD) following the 2016 CDC guidelines. Dr. Muench hypothesized that following the 2016 guidelines, providers disproportionally decreased opioids in PWD, a population at a disadvantage to advocate for the pain medications that they need. Through support from the Pepper Center, Dr. Muench was able to build on her analyses proposed to develop an R01 that examines opioid prescribing trends jointly with pain prevalence trends to test if individuals with ADRD no longer able to communicate are experiencing undertreatment of pain. Her hypothesis was that with increased scrutiny of prescription opioids in recent years providers may be more likely to decrease opioids in a population unable to articulate their pain needs. To this end, her long-term goal is to highlight and address potential disparities in pain treatment and provide important information for opioid prescribing guidelines concerning the management of chronic pain in people with ADRD.
3. Project Title: Post-Intensive Care Unit Outcomes and the Impact of Resilience in Older Adults with Pre-existing Geriatric Conditions
  Leader: Julien Cobert, MD
  For older patients admitted to the ICU, the presence of frailty, cognitive decline and disability are associated with higher mortality, worse long-term quality of life and accelerated post-discharge cognitive decline. These issues have received attention given the recognition of persistent physical, functional, psychological sequelae following critical illness –called post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) - which is particularly common in older adult survivors. When older patients face critical illness, the complex relationship between these geriatric conditions, the acute stress of critical illness, and the ICU environment places these vulnerable older adults at a higher risk for morbidity and mortality. ICU admission may result in prolonged immobility, malnutrition, swallowing dysfunction, polypharmacy and potentially burdensome invasive interventions. Critical illness itself is associated with a hyperinflammatory state which can decrease muscle mass and physical function. Lines and tubes tethering patients to beds, alarms and other noises, and lack of sunlight place many older adults at high risk of delirium and functional decline. These harms must be weighed against the potential benefits of ICU care in view of patient goals and expectations. A central goal in studying functional outcomes after critical illness is to identify pre-, intra-and post-ICU targets to mitigate functional decline or to help rehabilitate ICU patients and survivors. Most studies of functional impairment in ICU survivors emphasize factors associated with worse outcomes. Important studies in sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome showed that pre-illness cognitive impairment, frailty, and disability are associated with cognitive decline and self-rated health in survivors. However, , protective pre-ICU characteristics such as the capacity to navigate adversity or resilience have received little attention. The implications are important because psychological well-being, satisfaction and behavioral interventions are not directly incorporated into ICU treatment bundles despite evidence that higher levels of resilience buffer the impact of chronic illness on disability later in life. Resilience is also correlated with decreased neuropsychological impairment and better self-care in ICU survivors. Hence, there is a critical need to understand and identify modifiable traits that protect older adults who face critical illness from functional and cognitive decline. These could be targetable and potentially added to existing preventative and rehabilitative strategies in the ICU. In this study, Dr. Cobert seeks to first understand how pre-existing geriatric conditions impact clinical and functional outcomes and end-of-life care process measures for older adults who require an ICU admission. He will then quantify resilience using a validated measure to determine its impact on clinical and functional outcomes. His central hypothesis is that patients with pre-existing disability, frailty, multimorbidity or dementia have increased risk of short-and long-term morbidity and mortality, but certain outcomes may be mitigated by resilience. Through support from the Pepper Center, Dr. Cobert was able to build upon his prior work on trends of pre-ICU geriatric conditions, using a unique ICU cohort from the Health and Retirement Study to evaluate functional, behavioral, and cognitive impairments in older adults who have suffered a critical illness. This project enabled Dr. Cobert to complete analysis and publish his results on trends of pre-existing geriatric conditions in ICU patients using Medicare-linked Health & Retirement Study (HRS) data. This resulted in a publication in Chest (impact factor ~9.5). Dr. Cobert subsequently extended this work with ongoing data analyses to study whether resilience could mitigate post-ICU morbidity and mortality in older adults. In addition, Dr. Cobert plans to apply for R21 or R03 (and the equivalent I21 through the VA) during the 12-month award (November-December) and begin preparation for an R01 . Dr. Cobert intends for his future R01 to create novel electronic health records (EHR) measures of disability and geriatric conditions using natural language processing techniques. The R01 would be focused on the development of improved EHR tools which would allow for better data capture, better tools for patient recruitment for prospective studies, and more robust outcome measures. This future work would require a mixed methods approach to assess how to best design and validate the improved EHR tool.
4. Project Title: Biological signatures of neurodegeneration and aging associated with delirium in older adults following hip fracture surgery
  Leader: Sara LaHue, MD
  Identifying the shared mechanisms connecting delirium, cognitive impairment, and aging are of critical importance. Delirium is a life-threatening acute disturbance in mental status affecting more than 2.6 million hospitalized adults in the United States annually, with an estimated attributable cost of $16,303-$64,421 per case. Delirium is associated with functional dependence, new or accelerated cognitive decline, and death. Older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer's Disease, or Alzheimer's Disease Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) are at highest risk for delirium. Once viewed as an inevitability for older adults, delirium is preventable in as many as 40% of cases using intensive clinical pathways. While delirium prevention efforts are critical, they fail to prevent 60% of cases. Insufficient knowledge of delirium pathophysiology dramatically hinders advances in personalized delirium risk assessment, prevention, and impedes the development of delirium treatments, which do not currently exist. The complex association between delirium, cognitive impairment, and advanced age is largely based on epidemiology rather than the identification of markers that may indicate biological mechanisms. Recently, there is growing evidence for plasma AD biomarkers, such as plasma phosphorylated tau at residue 181 (pTau181), demonstrated by Dr. Boxer’s lab to differentiate those with AD from healthy controls and those with other ADRD, such as frontotemporal lobar degeneration; as well as pTau217-19 and neurofilament light chain (NfL). While advanced age is a major risk factor for delirium and AD/ADRD, this is based on chronological age – the number of years alive. However, aging is increasingly understood to be driven by biological mechanisms that are more or less advanced in different individuals. The difference between this biological age and chronological age is “age acceleration,” which is associated with increased risk of disease, including AD. Dr. LaHue’s long-term goal is to become an independent clinician-investigator focused on identifying mechanisms of delirium and delirium-associated cognitive decline, and to apply this knowledge to develop targeted treatments for delirium. In order to address gaps in our understanding of the biological mechanisms of delirium, she proposes to apply novel markers of neurodegeneration and aging to delirium. These results will provide evidence of a pathophysiological basis for the observed association between delirium, cognitive impairment, and advanced age. This is the first application of plasma pTau181, pTau217 and age acceleration in delirious patients. The goal of this project is to identify whether elevated preoperative measures of pTau181, pTau217, NfL, and age acceleration (by way of DNA methylation) in blood, are associated with postoperative delirium in 100 older adults undergoing hip fracture surgery, in order to advance understanding of the pathologic drivers of delirium. Through achieving this goal, she aims to shed light on the pathological basis for the observed association between delirium, neurodegeneration and aging. Through her Pilot and Exploratory Studies Award, Dr. LaHue received support that was integral to her development as an Early-Stage Investigator at the intersection of neurology and geriatrics. The Pepper Center was able to provide not only mentorship but also research staffing support assist Dr. LaHue in executing her research. The work from this pilot study will provide the basis for a future career development award application to investigate how these markers of neurodegeneration and aging influence the trajectory of postoperative cognitive decline in older adults who develop delirium.
5. Project Title: Palliative Care for Non-English Speaking Gynecology Oncology Patients
  Leader: María de Fátima Reyes, MD
  In this retrospective cohort study, Dr. Reyes seeks to explore the current utilization of palliative care, especially as it relates to a patient’s primary language, and will elucidate barriers to palliative care referrals and effective palliation of symptoms. Given immigration and acculturation trends, she anticipates that language barriers will be most prominent in older women over 55 as women who immigrate later in life are more likely to be monolingual, and that her findings will highlight current areas for improvement in end-of-life care for the gynecology oncology patient population. By conducting retrospective chart review to define a cohort of aging gynecology oncology patients with advanced disease (i.e., stage 3 and 4) who obtained their care at University of California San Francisco (a large urban academic center) in the Department of Gynecology Oncology over the past 10 years (2010 to 2020), Dr. Reyes aims to accomplish the following. First, she will determine the utilization and timing of palliative care for aging gynecology oncology patients with advanced disease at our institution. Secondly, she will compare the utilization of palliative care between English-speaking versus non-English speaking aging gynecology oncology patients with advanced disease. Through the Pepper Center, Dr. Reyes was able to receive analytic support from the DAC and mentorship from VARC core leader, Dr. Rebecca Sudore, in analyzing her cohort in relation to her aims. Analysis is currently in progress. In addition, through the DAC, Dr. Reyes is able to access additional data support from UCSF Clinical Translational Science Institute, a partner of the UCSF Pepper Center.
6. Project Title: Meaningful activities in seriously ill, vulnerable older adults
  Leader: Anna Oh, BSN, MSN, MPH
  Engagement in meaningful activities – enjoyable physical, leisure, social, spiritual activities related to personal interests and values – gives life identity and purpose, and is therefore beneficial to the emotional and physical well-being of older adults. As older adults age and become more susceptible to disease, disability, and cognitive impairment, the ability to participate and engage in meaningful activities place the older adult at higher risk of loss of identity and well-being. Dr. Oh’s cross-sectional examination published in JAMA IM of meaningful activity engagement in the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) found functional disability was the leading factor of nonengagement. Yet, diverse racial and ethnic groups of older adults may have varying experiences with meaningful activity engagement over time due to cultural and language barriers as well as limited access to services and resources. Little is known about meaningful activity engagement in diverse groups of older adults from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, its relationship to disability, and barriers and facilitators for engagement, such as social support, neighborhood factors, and socioeconomic and demographic factors. Previous studies have documented concerning racial and ethnic differences in the experience of aging, older Americans and their caregivers in caregiving experiences, access to and use of in-home rehabilitation services, and advance care planning. In addition to reducing racial and ethnic differences and health disparities, culturally-sensitive, community-based interventions have the potential to increase access to high-quality healthcare for diverse older adults. Culturally-sensitive, community-based interventions that include assessments of meaningful activity engagement can guide goals of care conversations, medical treatment recommendations, and target existing services and supports (e.g. home health, hospice, long-term services and supports) for older adults to stay engaged in meaningful activities. The objective of this study is to identify activity engagement in older, community-dwelling African-American/Black, Latinx/Hispanic, Asian, and bi/multiracial NHATS participants before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data and findings from this research will be a springboard for a K23 award where Dr. Oh will examine longitudinally the barriers and facilitators to staying engaged in meaningful activities. Through support from this award, the Pepper Center is helping to catalyze Dr. Oh’s long-term goal is to become a clinician leader who improves the quality-of-life of diverse, community-dwelling, seriously ill older adults with home-based models of care.
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS (9 Development Projects Listed)
1. Project Title: Methods with Survey Data
  Leader: Grisell Diaz-Ramirez, MS, Bocheng Jing, MS
  Currently there are no clear methods or best practice guidelines regarding analysis of survey data to support all survey topics ranging from surgery prediction to cognition. There are currently no software packages available, thus creating an issue of no standardized methods in calculations to perform analysis. The aims of this development project were to explore survey data issues from three main aspects: survival prediction (cox model, competing risk), propensity score methods, and linear mixed model.

Since the start of this project, Ms. Diaz-Ramirez and Mr. Jing have been actively disseminating their findings, of note:
1. The following proceeding paper was accepted to SAS Global: “Mixed-Effects Models and Complex Survey Data with the GLIMMIX Procedure”
2. The following proceeding paper was also accepted to SAS Global: “Propensity Score Matching with Survey Data”
3. SAS proceedings papers on mixed model and propensity score were presented at the Virtual SAS Global meeting. They are both now published on the Proceedings of the SAS Global Forum 2020 and also accessible online to reach the a global audience
Mixed model download link
Propensity score download link
2. Project Title: Statistical Harmonization of Two Nationally Representative Data Sets: HRS and NHATS
  Leader: Sun Jeon, PhD
  Dr. Sun Jeon seeks to develop a harmonized coding of ADL/IADL and other functional measures using the Health Retirement Study (HRS) and the National Health Aging Trends Study (NHATS). Through her analysis of the prevalence of disabilities in those two data sets, NHATS showed higher prevalence across ADL/IADL measures than that in HRS. Currently there is a lack of an understanding of whether the NHATS cohort consists of generally sicker people or the discrepancy was derived from the way the questions were asked or the survey is done. From observation of work that UCSF Pepper Center Investigators are engaging in, she has seen great overlap their interests in and demands for this work. Dr. Jeon will be dedicating her effort to further study in this area to get a deeper understanding of NHATS/HRS cohorts, survey design, and of course as well as some statistical tests.
3. Project Title: Developing an Algorithm to Identify Older Persons with Unmet Need for Equipment in National Datasets
  Leader: Kenneth Lam MD, John Boscardin PhD
  Dr. Kenny Lam (VA Quality Scholar) and DAC collaborated on developing a novel algorithm that has since resulted in a high-profile publication. The team first approached the development of this algorithm by creating a cohort of older adults aged 65 and above from the nationally representative National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and selecting participants with bathing and toileting equipment needs. Next, they cross referenced this cohort with Medicare claims data. Afterwards, the team examined how many participants did not receive equipment based on the NHATS annual follow up interviews, where interviewers meet annually with participants in person to ask about health, function, living environment, and finances and to conduct an objective assessment of physical performance. Lastly, the team used data from the 2016 to 2019 waves to determine the incidence of equipment acquisition among those with unmet need in 2015. The description of this methodology and the analysis made possible with this novel algorithm has been published in JAMA Internal Medicine, as cited below: Lam K, Shi Y, Boscardin J, Covinsky KE. Unmet Need for Equipment to Help With Bathing and Toileting Among Older US Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2021 Mar 22:e210204. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.0204. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33749707; PMCID: PMC7985819.
4. Project Title: Deep Natural Language Processing Identifies Variation in Care Preference Documentation
  Leader: Rebecca Sudore, MD
  Retrospective chart reviews are one of many methods for researchers and clinicians to extract key information about subjects and patients. However, this is usually a time-intensive process. In the past year, Dr. Sudore and her collaborators have explored the use of natural language processing (NLP) and how it may increase efficiency in performing chart review. NLP (i.e., computer identification of phrases within electronic records) can be combined with deep learning (i.e., computer systems that can access and use information in an adaptive way) to create tools to aid in the rapid identification of care preference documentation. Neural network models are commonly used in deep learning. Similar to the neural networks in the human brain, computational neural networks include a series of statistical algorithms capable of modeling and processing nonlinear relationships between inputs and outputs in parallel and real time. These algorithms generate rules to associate sequences of words or images on a prespecified concept, such as care preferences, and become more accurate (i.e., learn) with more data over time. This adaptive learning process can be used to abstract complex information from clinical data with an accuracy similar to highly trained humans. As an example of this application, Dr. Sudore and her collaborators have developed and validated deep natural language processing in the identification of documentation of care preferences for patients admitted to the ICU. Their methods and findings can be found in the following manuscript: Udelsman BV, Moseley ET, Sudore RL, Keating NL, Lindvall C. Deep Natural Language Processing Identifies Variation in Care Preference Documentation. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2020 Jun;59(6):1186-1194.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.12.374. Epub 2020 Jan 9. PMID: 31926970.
5. Project Title: An eHealth platform to facilitate financial understanding and legal preparation for patients with dementia and their caregivers
  Leader: Rebecca Sudore, MD
  In collaboration with Sarah Hooper, JD and David Farrell, MPH, Dr. Sudore is a Co-I on this new NIA R44 grant. Prior work shows that digital programs can be designed to be usable and effective for patients with dementia and their caregivers. The team will be working to build and test a web-based platform for educating patients and caregivers about financial risks, strategies they can undertake, and the specific legal preparations they can make; facilitating completion of legal documents in coordination with legal professionals; and communicating about financial and legal issues with health professionals. Dr. Sudore is providing ongoing VARC consultation on the development and testing of new interventions for older adults and recruitment and retention of study subjects.
6. Project Title: Developing an Evidenced-Based, Online and Advance Care Planning Program to Prepare Surrogates for Medical Decision Making
  Leader: Rebecca Sudore, MD
  Dr. Sudore obtained funding from the Greenwall Foundation to develop and test a new intervention designed to help caregivers and care partners prepare for their role as a medical decision maker. Dr. Sudore and her research team have obtained surrogate input in focus groups and in-depth interviews and are developing an online PREPARE for THEIR Care Program. Video stories have been produced and co-developed with a community advisory board. They show surrogates how to start advance care planning conversations, how to communicate with medical providers, and how to make informed medical decisions for others.
7. Project Title: The Effect of Difficult to Read HIPAA forms on the Recruitment and Retention of Older Primary Care Patients in a Pragmatic Trial.
  Leader: Rebecca Sudore, MD
  Dr. Sudore is a Co-I on this PCORI project. The parent trial is a 3 UC-site pragmatic trial designed to compare population-based advance care planning interventions. As part of the trial, a subset of these patients was recruited to answer questionnaires. In addition to helping this team create literacy- and culturally appropriate recruitment materials, Dr. Sudore also helped the team simplify the informed consent form to the 5th grade reading level. Unfortunately, the UC system would not allow the HIPAA forms to also be simplified. She mentored her colleagues at UCLA and helped to design a nested study to compare rates of recruitment for patients who were mailed recruitment packets that contained the HIPAA form and those that did not. Preliminary finds show that recruitment rates with the HIPAA forms were 9%, while the recruitment rates without HIPAA forms was 14%, p< 0.001. Recruitment was also lower for patients who self-identified as being from a racial/ethnic minority background, and those who spoke Spanish. For the group in which we did not include the HIPAA, we were able to achieve a closer demographic comparator group to the larger patient populations. Dr. Sudore is working with her UCLA colleagues to submit this manuscript and is working with the UCSF IRB to consider how to simplify the HIPAA forms.
8. Project Title: A Novel Method for Identifying a Parsimonious and Accurate Predictive Model for Multiple Clinical Outcomes
  Leader: Grisell Diaz-Ramirez, Sei Lee, MD, Alex Smith, MD, Siqi Gan, John Boscardin, PhD
  At present, there has been limited research on how best to develop clinical prognostic models that predict multiple outcomes simultaneously with accuracy and parsimony. Thus, the DAC Statistical Lab led by Dr. Boscardin collaborated with PESC core leaders Drs. Alex Smith and Sei Lee to evaluate a novel computing method for predictor selection in prognostic models of multiple clinical outcomes using the minimum average normalized BIC across outcomes, which they called the Best Average BIC (baBIC). To develop the proposed method, they used the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data and a common set of health-related and demographic variables to predict time to: 1) Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Dependence, 2) Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) Difficulty, 3) Mobility Dependence, and 4) Death. Using HRS data, they demonstrated their method and conducted a simulation study to investigate performance. Upon testing, they found the average Harrell's C-statistics across outcomes of the models obtained with the baBIC and Union methods were comparable. Despite the similar discrimination, the baBIC method produced more parsimonious models than the Union method. In contrast, the models selected with the Intersection method were the most parsimonious, but with worst predictive accuracy, and the opposite was true in the Full method. In the simulations, the baBIC method performed well by identifying many of the predictors selected in the baBIC model of the case-study data most of the time and excluding those not selected in the majority of the simulations. This concludes that the proposed method identified a common subset of variables to predict multiple clinical outcomes with superior balance between parsimony and predictive accuracy to current methods. This body of work proves that it is possible to select a common set of variables to predict multiple clinical outcomes while maintaining parsimony and predictive accuracy. Moving forward, researchers will be able to use this algorithm and code to build prognostic models that are both accurate and parsimonious, potentially saving the clinical time and expense associated with gathering additional unnecessary predictors. Full details about this project are found in the following publication: Diaz-Ramirez LG, Lee SJ, Smith AK, Gan S, Boscardin WJ. A Novel Method for Identifying a Parsimonious and Accurate Predictive Model for Multiple Clinical Outcomes. Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2021 Jun;204:106073. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2021.106073. Epub 2021 Mar 27. PMID: 33831724; PMCID: PMC8098121.
9. Project Title: A Novel Metric for Developing Easy-to-Use and Accurate Clinical Prediction Models: The Time-cost Information Criterion
  Leader: Sei Lee, MD, Alex Smith, MD, Grisel Diaz-Ramirez, Ken Covinsky, MD, Siqi Gan, Catherine Chen, John Boscardin, PhD
  Core(s): Data and Analysis Core (DAC)
  Current guidelines recommend that clinicians use clinical prediction models to estimate future risk to guide decisions. For example, predicted fracture risk is a major factor in the decision to initiate bisphosphonate medications. However, current methods for developing prediction models often lead to models that are accurate but difficult to use in clinical settings. The goal of this project was to develop and test whether a new metric that explicitly balances model accuracy with clinical usability leads to accurate, easier-to-use prediction models. The DAC Statistical Lab, led by Dr. Boscardin, facilitated the cross-center collaboration amongst PESC core leaders, Drs. Alex Smith and Sei Lee, PESC Scholar Dr. Catherine Chen, and UCSF Pepper Center Director Dr. Ken Covinsky to develop and test whether a new metric that explicitly balances model accuracy with clinical usability leads to accurate, easier-to-use prediction models. The project team proposed a new metric called the Time-cost Information Criterion (TCIC) that will penalize potential predictor variables that take a long time to obtain in clinical settings. To demonstrate how the TCIC can be used to develop models that are easier-to-use in clinical settings, we use data from the 2000 wave of the Health and Retirement Study (n=6311) to develop and compare time to mortality prediction models using a traditional metric (Bayesian Information Criterion or BIC) and the TCIC. Through their analysis, they found that the TCIC models utilized predictors that could be obtained more quickly than BIC models while achieving similar discrimination. For example, the TCIC identified a 7-predictor model with a total time-cost of 44 seconds, while the BIC identified a 7-predictor model with a time-cost of 119 seconds. The Harrell C-statistic of the TCIC and BIC 7-predictor models did not differ (0.7065 vs. 0.7088, P=0.11). Accounting for the time-costs of potential predictor variables through the use of the TCIC led to the development of an easier-to-use mortality prediction model with similar discrimination. Although current prediction model development strategies focus on improving predictive accuracy, the lack of attention to the clinical usability of prediction models have led to the development of many accurate models which are difficult to use in clinical settings. Through this project, our center has introduced the concept of using time-costs as a way of identifying predictors that are easier to obtain in clinical practice. This work has shown that prediction models with similar discrimination, but decreased time-costs can be developed, and this may lead to models that are as accurate and easier to use in routine clinical practice. Full details about this project are found in the following publication: Lee SJ, Smith AK, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Covinsky KE, Gan S, Chen CL, Boscardin WJ. A Novel Metric for Developing Easy-to-Use and Accurate Clinical Prediction Models: The Time-cost Information Criterion. Med Care. 2021 May 1;59(5):418-424. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001510. PMID: 33528231; PMCID: PMC8026517.
RESEARCH (7 Projects Listed)
    NIH K01AG059831 / ( 2019 - 2024 )
  Project Summary/Abstract This is an application for a K01 award for Krista Lyn Harrison, PhD, whose research focuses on improvinglife for older adults with Alzheimer s disease and related dementias (ADRD) and their informal caregivers. Dr.Harrison is a health services and policy researcher and Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatrics at theUniversity of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Harrison has 12-years of experience in qualitative methodsand led the research enterprise of a large hospice prior to completing a UCSF aging research fellowship andimplementation science certificate. Through the activities proposed in this application, Dr. Harrison willstrengthen and address gaps in her experience through a training plan focused on: a) advanced statisticalmethods in linked datasets, b) ADRD clinical care and research, and c) translating mixed-methods data intoADRD interventions. Resources to foster her career development include UCSF s nationally-recognizedDivision of Geriatrics, Memory and Aging Center, Institute for Health Policy Studies, and K Scholar s program,Dr. Harrison has assembled an extraordinary multidisciplinary team with extensive expertise. Alzheimer s disease and related dementias are progressive incurable illnesses causing significant publichealth burden. Palliative care focuses on reducing suffering and improving quality of life by attending to themulti-dimensional sources of distress for seriously ill individuals and families. Evidence for quality palliativecare for advanced ADRD comes primarily from research in nursing homes. For the more than 700,000 olderadults with advanced Alzheimer s disease who die at home each year, clinicians lack population-level evidenceto guide caregivers and patients in anticipating and planning for disease changes. The proposed K01 willaddress critical knowledge gaps and develop a toolkit of resources to support basic palliative care provided byneurologists. Dr. Harrison will first use a nationally-representative dataset to longitudinally examine factorsassociated with mortality and nursing home stay among people living at home with severe and advancingADRD. Second, she will use semi-structured interviews with older adults living at home with ADRD, currentand bereaved caregivers to understand palliative and end-of-life experiences and opportunities to improvepalliative care for ADRD. Third, Dr. Harrison will work with multiple stakeholders to refine and assess thefeasibility of a toolkit of basic palliative care resources for use in neurology clinical practice (such as anassessment checklist, evidence-based strategies for discussing serious illness prognosis and advance careplanning adapted for ADRD, referral and billing guides, and summarized evidence from Aims 1 and 2 on livingat home with ADRD to inform anticipatory guidance). The goal of this toolkit is to improve neurologists communication with older adults living at home with advancing ADRD and/or their informal caregivers. Theproposed research will provide Dr. Harrison with the preliminary data, training, and experience to supportfuture competitive independent R-series applications to test the efficacy and effectiveness of her intervention.
    NIH K76AG059931 / ( 2019 - 2024 )
  PROJECT SUMMARY / ABSTRACT This application for the Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging (K76)describes the five-year career development plan of Dr. Victoria Tang, a geriatrician and young physician-scientist in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Tang s long-term careergoal is to develop a research niche that bridges the field of aging and surgery to improve the care of oldersurgical patients. The specific career development goals outlined in this application include developing expertise inimplementation science, intervention development, clinical trial design/analysis, and building a research nichethat bridges the field of aging and surgery to improve the care of older surgical patients at the national level.The primary mentor for accomplishing these career development goals is Dr. Ken Covinsky, Professor ofMedicine at UCSF and Principle Investigator of the UCSF Older Americans Independence Center. Dr.Covinsky will be assisted by co-mentor Dr. Emily Finlayson, Professor of Surgery and Director of UCSF sCenter for Surgery in Older Adults. The career development plan of Dr. Tang includes individualizedmentorship with her mentorship team, formal coursework, one-on-one tutorials, and leadership training. The overall objective of the research plan is to understand the role of psychosocial vulnerability in post-operative outcomes with the largest cohort of older surgical patients to date and to develop a pilot test apsychosocial intervention to improve depressive symptoms, coping skills, and social support. The centralhypothesis of this project is that preoperative psychosocial vulnerability is associated with post-operativefunctional recovery, and a greater understanding of psychosocial vulnerability and interventions designed tomitigate its effects will improve post-operative outcomes, such functional recovery. The specific aims of theproject include (1) determining the independent association between pre-operative psychosocial vulnerabilitywith 2-year overall mortality and functional decline following major surgery; (2) understanding howpsychosocial vulnerability impacts post-operative recovery in older surgical patients through semi-structuredinterviews with older surgical patients and caregivers; and (3) comparing 6-month functional recoveryoutcomes between those randomized to a psychosocial intervention (navigator-led social support and problemsolving therapy) versus usual care. These aims will permit a better understanding of psychosocial vulnerability,a geriatric-specific risk factor, in older adults that may be especially important in a time of major surgery. Theapplication is relevant to NIH and NIA because Dr. Tang s career goal is to leverage an understanding of thegeriatric-specific risk factors to elucidate potential aspects needing interventions and to improve sharedsurgical decision-making among older adults and their physicians.
  Leader(s): WONG, MELISA L
    NIH K76AG064431 / ( 2019 - 2024 )
  PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACTThis is a Beeson K76 career development award for Dr. Melisa Wong, a thoracic oncology clinician-investigator dually trained in medical oncology and aging research. Dr. Wong s long-term goal is to become anational leader in geriatric oncology research, improving cancer care for older adults by aligning treatmentswith individualized patient goals. More than 72% of older adults with cancer report that they would not choosea treatment that results in functional impairment, even if it improves survival. Yet, oncologists traditionally maketreatment decisions based on cancer characteristics, often without discussing how treatment might affectfunction or eliciting patients goals and values. To move from cancer-centered to patient-centered decisionmaking, oncologists must both predict which older adults are at highest risk for functional decline andcommunicate complex information about benefits and harms to patients in a way that aligns treatments withtheir goals for function, quality of life, longevity, and other priorities. This proposal aims to 1) identify risk factorsfor functional decline in daily activities, physical performance, and life-space mobility during chemotherapyand/or immunotherapy in older adults with metastatic lung cancer; 2A) adapt the Best Case/Worst Case(BC/WC) communication tool; and 2B) test its feasibility for use during treatment discussions with older adultswith lung cancer. In Aim 1 s multi-site cohort study, patients age 65 and older with metastatic lung cancer willundergo serial geriatric assessments to measure functional status during chemotherapy and/orimmunotherapy. In Aim 2A s focus group study, older adults with lung cancer, caregivers, and oncologists willparticipate in focus groups to elicit feedback aimed at adapting the BC/WC tool to incorporate function andother patient priorities into patient-centered decision making. In Aim 2B s pre-post pilot study, oncologists willbe trained to use the adapted BC/WC tool; treatment discussions with older adults with lung cancer before andafter training will be analyzed. Dr. Wong s exceptional multidisciplinary mentoring team is led by Dr. LouiseWalter, an internationally recognized expert on individualized decision making for cancer screening in olderadults. This award will support Dr. Wong s transition to research independence through dedicated training in 1)longitudinal modeling and risk prediction for functional decline in older adults with cancer; 2) shared decisionmaking and decision-making interventions for older adults with functional or cognitive impairment; 3) clinicaltrial design to test decision-making interventions for older adults with cancer; and 4) leadership skills to directmulticenter research to transform geriatric oncology care. The results from this proposal will serve as thefoundation for a multicenter cohort study to develop and validate a risk prediction score for functional declineduring lung cancer treatment in older adults and a cluster-randomized trial to test the effect of the adaptedBC/WC tool on communication, shared decision making, and receipt of goal-concordant care.
    NIH K76AG064545 / ( 2019 - 2024 )
  PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACTDue in large part to the successful development of antiretroviral therapy, adults with HIV infection are livinglonger; in the United States, 47% of all people living with HIV are age 50 and older. This aging populationincreasingly experiences multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and significant mental health and psychosocialchallenges. Older HIV-positive adults also experience a high frequency of geriatric conditions including falls,frailty, and functional impairment. Geriatric assessment and management could help address this medical andsocial complexity. Supporting a role for geriatric assessment, studies show that assessments can predicthospitalization and mortality among older HIV-positive adults and geriatric conditions are associated withpoorer quality of life. Yet little is known on how to best integrate geriatric assessment and management in HIVcare settings. Strategies developed need to be efficient, able to be administered by non-geriatrics trainedclinicians, and also tailored to the unique aging issues that are influenced by HIV infection. Our proposaladdresses this knowledge gap by developing and testing a tailored Geriatric Assessment and InitialManagement guide focused on the needs of older HIV-positive adults, also referred to as G-AIM HIV.Specifically, the objectives of this proposal are to 1) develop G-AIM HIV by incorporating patient and expertperspectives on the most important geriatric assessment domains and initial management steps; 2) examineHIV providers and staff attitudes towards G-AIM HIV and identify facilitators and barriers to its use; and 3) pilotG-AIM HIV in two HIV outpatient settings to evaluate feasibility, acceptability and preliminary patient reportedoutcomes such as quality of life. The objectives of this proposal support the career development activities ofthe PI Dr. Meredith Greene focused on 1) Delphi methodology and stakeholder engagement, 2) qualitativeresearch methods, 3) intervention and clinical trial research with vulnerable populations, and 4) ongoingleadership development. Dr. Greene will conduct all work at the University of California, San Francisco with anexceptional mentoring team, led by Dr. Kenneth Covinsky. This K76 Beeson proposal will advance ourknowledge of how to integrate geriatric principles into HIV care to improve quality of life for older HIV-positiveadults. It will also provide advanced research skills and valuable data to launch Dr. Greene s career as anindependent investigator and leader at the intersection of HIV and geriatric medicine.
  Leader(s): SUSKIND, ANNE M.
    NIH R01AG058616 / ( 2018 - 2022 )
  PROJECT ABSTRACT:There is a fundamental gap in our understanding of outcomes related to surgery for bladder and boweldysfunction, which are ubiquitous conditions among nursing home residents. Despite these proceduresbeing relatively low risk , they are not without risk, particularly in an already functionally and cognitivelylimited cohort. Currently, the only available information on such outcomes are from studies conducted inyounger and healthier individuals and they lack important functional and cognitive outcomes that aremeaningful to older adults. Our overarching research objective is to improve care for nursing homeresidents with bladder and bowel dysfunction by providing them and their healthcare providers with realisticexpectations about the risks and benefits of surgical treatment for these conditions. The objective for theproposed study is to better understand the surgical and functional outcomes of these procedures in thenursing home population and to provide patients and their providers with a prognostic tool to assist in thesurgical decision-making process. The central hypothesis is that there are substantial and significantimmediate and long-term complications resulting from these procedures, spanning from high rates ofsurgical morbidity and mortality (compared to community-dwelling controls) and poor functional outcomesmeasured by activities of daily living, cognition and specific bowel and bladder functional outcomes. Thishypothesis will be tested by leveraging Minimum Data Set (MDS) for Nursing Home Resident Assessmentand Medicare claims data (inpatient and outpatient) by the following three specific aims: 1) to compareshort-term (30-day mortality, surgical complications, length of stay, readmission) and long-term (1-yearmortality and intensity of care) surgical outcomes between nursing home residents and age-, sex- andcomorbidity-matched community-dwelling older adults undergoing elective surgery for bladder and boweldysfunction, 2) to determine longitudinal changes in functional status, cognition, and bladder and bowelfunction among nursing home residents following elective surgery for bladder and bowel dysfunction, and3) to develop and internally validate a prognostic tool for nursing home residents considering electivesurgery for bladder and bowel dysfunction to predict surgical morbidity, mortality and postoperativefunction, cognition and bladder and bowel function. This study is innovative because it will measure andapply longitudinal functional and cognitive outcomes data to a prognostic tool for surgical proceduresperformed to improve function among an already functionally impaired population. The proposed researchis significant because there is no information about outcomes for these common conditions in this large andvulnerable population. Development of a prognostic tool to aid in this decision-making process will serve tominimize the risks of potentially unsuccessful, unnecessary and even harmful procedures, while promotingthe use of such procedures among individuals who are more likely to receive benefit.
  Leader(s): LAI, JENNIFER C.
    NIH R01AG059183 / ( 2018 - 2023 )
  PROJECT SUMMARYThe decision to proceed with liver transplantation in a patient with end-stage liver disease depends not just onthe risk of death without transplant but the risk of adverse outcomes after it. The transplant clinician's assess-ment of a cirrhotic patient's global functional health which we have conceptualized as his or her vulnerabilityto health stressors is a critical factor (oftentimes the sole factor) in this decision. Yet at the current time, nostandardized, objective criteria for poor global functional health exist to define who is too frail for transplant .Rather, assessment of functional status in transplant is subjective and is applied to decision-making ad hoc,resulting in unequal transplant access and potential denial of otherwise suitable candidates. To facilitatetransplant decision-making, a precise understanding of how pre-transplant functional status impacts post-transplant outcomes is needed to inform prediction of who will not regain excellent global functional health aftertransplant. We have demonstrated that tools to quantify frailty and functional status in older adults have provenvaluable to measure global functional health in cirrhotic patients and have developed an objective Liver FrailtyIndex, consisting of a composite of performance-based tests (grip strength, chairs stands, and balancetesting), to capture longitudinal changes in functional status specifically for use in the pre- and post-transplantsettings. Building logically upon this work, we propose to determine the impact of pre-transplant functionalstatus on 1-year post-transplant mortality and global functional health and develop/validate clinical predictionrules for these outcomes that incorporate pre-transplant functional status. To accomplish these goals, we willleverage our existing Multi-center Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation Study, consisting of 5 USliver transplant centers (UCSF, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Baylor, and Duke) with a track record ofcollaboration and high-impact research to obtain data on a minimum of 1,300 liver transplant recipients withassessments of functional status pre-transplantation and assessments of global functional health (including theLiver Frailty Index, disability, and quality of life) 1-year post-transplantation. These data will be used to developand validate clinical prediction rules that incorporate both pre-transplant functional status, patient and donorcharacteristics to predict death, functional status, disability, and quality of life 1-year after transplantation. Thisproject will positively impact the field by expanding our ability to measure the benefit of transplant both by howlong a recipient will live as well as by how well a recipient will live after liver transplantation. Importantly, thisproject will facilitate clinical decision-making for patients and their clinicians through the precise understandingof how functional status impacts outcomes and what patients can expect after liver transplantation with respectto functional recovery. Given that functional status is modifiable in cirrhotic patients, our data will also supportfuture investigations to develop effective strategies to improve pre-transplant functional status with the goal ofreducing mortality and optimizing post-transplant functional health.
  Leader(s): GARDNER, RAQUEL C.
    NIH R01NS110944 / ( 2019 - 2024 )
  PROJECT SUMMARY / ABSTRACTSome 2.8 million Americans seek medical attention for traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually, resulting inestimated annual costs of over $75 billion. Older adults have the highest and fastest rising rate of TBI of anyother age-group, with 1 in 50 adults age =75y seeking medical attention for TBI in 2013. Older adults with TBIexperience higher mortality, slower recovery, worse outcomes, and may be at especially high risk for post-TBIdementia. There are few evidence-based guidelines for management, no tools to provide patients and familieswith reliable estimates of prognosis, and few proven treatments. Progress has been limited by: 1. systematicexclusion of older disabled patients from most prior prospective TBI studies, and 2. lack of age-appropriate TBIresearch tools. The overall objective is to launch a 2-site prospective geriatric TBI cohort study that will directlyaddress these barriers by applying state-of-the-art geriatric research methods to the field of TBI to improverepresentation of older patients in TBI research, and to develop a novel approach to measuring age-appropriate TBI predictors, outcomes, blood-based biomarkers, and neuropathology. The approach rests on 2foundational concepts: 1. Geriatric TBI is different from TBI in younger patients and will require a targeted age-appropriate approach. 2. Baseline health status including comorbidities/polypharmacy, physical frailty,functional status, and brain structure is recognized as a key predictor of outcome in the field of geriatrics butis not systematically measured in TBI research. The central hypothesis is that pre-injury health will beextremely heterogeneous in geriatric TBI and will be a key predictor of outcome in this population. Anoutstanding team of experts in TBI and aging research will achieve these Aims: Aim 1: Assemble a prospectivecohort of patients age =65y presenting to the Emergency Department =72h after TBI who underwent CT. Enroll270 TBI patient/study-partner dyads and 90 controls; perform baseline assessments and blood draws, andassess longitudinal outcomes at 2wk, 3mo, 6mo (primary endpoint) and 12mo; offer enrollment in a braindonation program. Aim 2: Develop and validate optimized geriatric TBI predictor and outcome assessments:2a: Systematically measure apolipoprotein E allele and pre-injury comorbidities/polypharmacy, physical frailty,and multi-domain functional status via detailed patient and study partner interviews using validated geriatricinstruments and assess association of these predictors with outcome after TBI. 2b: Describe the natural historyof geriatric TBI using validated TBI and geriatric outcomes and then use data-driven analytics to identify themost parsimonious set of measures for longitudinal outcome assessment in this population. 2c (exploratory):Measure pre-injury brain structure (atrophy/white matter disease of uninjured brain visualized on baseline CT)and explore association with outcome after TBI. Aim 3: Identify age-appropriate diagnostic and prognosticblood-based biomarkers. This work will directly inform design of large-scale age-appropriate geriatric TBIclinical trials that are urgently needed to improve care and outcomes in this vulnerable population.
  1. The Experience of Homebound Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
    Ankuda CK, Kotwal A, Reckrey J, Harrison KL, Ornstein KA
    J Gen Intern Med, 2022 Feb 15, 37(5): 1177-1182 | PMID: 35167063 | PMCID: PMC8853401
    Citations: | AltScore: 5.5
  2. Cognitive Impairment and Physical Frailty in Patients With Cirrhosis.
    Berry K, Duarte-Rojo A, Grab JD, Dunn MA, Boyarsky BJ, Verna EC, Kappus MR, Volk ML, McAdams-DeMarco M, Segev DL, Ganger DR, Ladner DP, Shui A, Tincopa MA, Rahimi RS, Lai JC, from the Multi-Center Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation (FrAILT) Study.
    Hepatol Commun, 2022 Jan, 6(1): 237-246 | PMID: 34558844 | PMCID: PMC8710786
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 2
  3. Association of Intraindividual Difference in Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate by Creatinine vs Cystatin C and End-stage Kidney Disease and Mortality.
    Chen DC, Shlipak MG, Scherzer R, Bauer SR, Potok OA, Rifkin DE, Ix JH, Muiru AN, Hsu CY, Estrella MM
    JAMA Netw Open, 2022 Feb 1, 5(2): e2148940 | PMID: 35175342 | PMCID: PMC8855239
    Citations: | AltScore: 5.95
  4. The Triple Bottom Line and Stabilization Wedges: A Framework for Perioperative Sustainability.
    Choi BJJ, Chen CL
    Anesth Analg, 2022 Mar 1, 134(3): 475-485 | PMID: 35180164
    Citations: | AltScore: 16.15
  5. Trends in Geriatric Conditions Among Older Adults Admitted to US ICUs Between 1998 and 2015.
    Cobert J, Jeon SY, Boscardin J, Chapman AC, Ferrante LE, Lee S, Smith AK
    Chest, 2022 Jan 11, 161(6): 1555-1565
    pii: S0012-3692(22)00020-4. | PMID: 35026299 | PMCID: PMC9248079
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 30.04
  6. Strengths and Challenges of Various Models of Geriatric Consultation for Older Adults Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
    Davis AJ, Greene M, Siegler E, Fitch KV, Schmalzle SA, Krain A, Vera JH, Boffito M, Falutz J, Erlandson KM
    Clin Infect Dis, 2022 Mar 23, 74(6): 1101-1106 | PMID: 34358303 | PMCID: PMC8946774
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 5.85
  7. COVID-19 outbreak in a state prison: a case study on the implementation of key public health recommendations for containment and prevention.
    Duarte C, Cameron DB, Kwan AT, Bertozzi SM, Williams BA, McCoy SI
    BMC Public Health, 2022 May 14, 22(1): 977 | PMID: 35568894 | PMCID: PMC9107313
    Citations: | AltScore: 0.25
  8. Exploring the Dynamics of Week-to-Week Blood Pressure in Nursing Home Residents Before Death.
    Graham LA, Lee SJ, Steinman MA, Peralta CA, Rubinsky AD, Jing B, Fung KZ, Odden MC
    Am J Hypertens, 2022 Jan 5, 35(1): 65-72 | PMID: 34505872 | PMCID: PMC8730483
    Citations: | AltScore: 2.35
  9. Attitudes toward deprescribing among older adults with dementia in the United States.
    Growdon ME, Espejo E, Jing B, Boscardin WJ, Zullo AR, Yaffe K, Boockvar KS, Steinman MA
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 Mar 10, 70(6): 1764-1773 | PMID: 35266141 | PMCID: PMC9177826
    Citations: | AltScore: 110.25
  10. Hospice Improves Care Quality For Older Adults With Dementia In Their Last Month Of Life.
    Harrison KL, Cenzer I, Ankuda CK, Hunt LJ, Aldridge MD
    Health Aff (Millwood), 2022 Jun, 41(6): 821-830 | PMID: 35666964
    Citations: | AltScore: 92.75
  11. Life expectancy for community-dwelling persons with dementia and severe disability.
    Harrison KL, Ritchie CS, Hunt LJ, Patel K, Boscardin WJ, Yaffe K, Smith AK
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 Mar 31, 70(6): 1807-1815 | PMID: 35357694 | PMCID: PMC9177709
    Citations: | AltScore: 35.25
  12. Time to benefit for stroke reduction after blood pressure treatment in older adults: A meta-analysis.
    Ho VS, Cenzer IS, Nguyen BT, Lee SJ
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 May, 70(5): 1558-1568 | PMID: 35137952 | PMCID: PMC9106841
    Citations: | AltScore: 335.288
  13. Patterns and Predictors of Functional Decline after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in Older Adults.
    Huang LW, Sheng Y, Andreadis C, Logan AC, Mannis GN, Smith CC, Gaensler KML, Martin TG, Damon LE, Huang CY, Olin RL
    Transplant Cell Ther, 2022 Mar 3, 28(6): 309.e1-309.e9
    pii: S2666-6367(22)00121-X. | PMID: 35247612 | PMCID: PMC9198006
    Citations: | AltScore: 4.2
  14. Incidence of potentially disruptive medical and social events in older adults with and without dementia.
    Hunt LJ, Morrison RS, Gan S, Espejo E, Ornstein KA, Boscardin WJ, Smith AK
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 Feb 5, 70(5): 1461-1470 | PMID: 35122662 | PMCID: PMC9106866
    Citations: | AltScore: 27.25
  15. Comparing Machine Learning to Regression Methods for Mortality Prediction Using Veterans Affairs Electronic Health Record Clinical Data.
    Jing B, Boscardin WJ, Deardorff WJ, Jeon SY, Lee AK, Donovan AL, Lee SJ
    Med Care, 2022 Jun 1, 60(6): 470-479 | PMID: 35352701 | PMCID: PMC9106858
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 2.25
  16. A single question assessment of loneliness in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: A nationally-representative study.
    Kotwal AA, Cenzer IS, Waite LJ, Smith AK, Perissinotto CM, Hawkley LC
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 May, 70(5): 1342-1345 | PMID: 35141875 | PMCID: PMC9106870
    Citations: | AltScore: 6
  17. COVID-19 severity and age increase the odds of delirium in hospitalized adults with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection: a cohort study.
    LaHue SC, Escueta DP, Guterman EL, Patel K, Harrison KL, Boscardin WJ, Douglas VC, Newman JC
    BMC Psychiatry, 2022 Feb 28, 22(1): 151 | PMID: 35227231 | PMCID: PMC8883244
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 14.95
  18. More POLST forms are being completed in nursing homes, but is this meaningful?
    Lam K, Haddock L, Yukawa M
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 Jul, 70(7): 1950-1953 | PMID: 35642687 | PMCID: PMC9283298
    Citations: | AltScore: 14.1
  19. Glycemic treatment deintensification practices in nursing home residents with type 2 diabetes.
    Lederle LI, Steinman MA, Jing B, Nguyen B, Lee SJ
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 Mar 23, 70(7): 2019-2028 | PMID: 35318647 | PMCID: PMC9283249
    Citations: | AltScore: 143.93
  20. Predicting Life Expectancy to Target Cancer Screening Using Electronic Health Record Clinical Data.
    Lee AK, Jing B, Jeon SY, Boscardin WJ, Lee SJ
    J Gen Intern Med, 2022 Feb, 37(3): 499-506 | PMID: 34327653 | PMCID: PMC8858374
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 6.1
  21. Trends in blood pressure diagnosis, treatment, and control among VA nursing home residents, 2007-2018.
    Odden MC, Li Y, Graham LA, Steinman MA, Marcum ZA, Liu CK, Jing B, Fung KZ, Peralta CA, Lee SJ
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 May 7 | PMID: 35524763
    Citations: | AltScore: 9.75
  22. Long-term functional outcomes and mortality after hospitalization for extracranial hemorrhage.
    Parks AL, Jeon SY, Boscardin WJ, Steinman MA, Smith AK, Covinsky KE, Fang MC, Shah SJ
    J Hosp Med, 2022 Apr, 17(4): 235-242 | PMID: 35535921
    Citations: | AltScore: NA
  23. Addressing suicide risk in patients living with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
    Portacolone E, Byers A, Halpern J, Barnes DE
    Gerontologist, 2022 Apr 2
    pii: gnac042. | PMID: 35365827
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 10.5
  24. A Geriatric Assessment Intervention to Reduce Treatment Toxicity Among Older Adults With Advanced Lung Cancer: A Subgroup Analysis From a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.
    Presley CJ, Mohamed MR, Culakova E, Flannery M, Vibhakar PH, Hoyd R, Amini A, VanderWalde N, Wong ML, Tsubata Y, Spakowicz DJ, Mohile SG
    Front Oncol, 2022, 12: 835582 | PMID: 35433441 | PMCID: PMC9008713
    Citations: | AltScore: 2.35
  25. Association of Social Support With Functional Outcomes in Older Adults Who Live Alone.
    Shah SJ, Fang MC, Wannier SR, Steinman MA, Covinsky KE
    JAMA Intern Med, 2022 Jan 1, 182(1): 26-32 | PMID: 34779818 | PMCID: PMC8593829
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 127.95
  26. Examining the Impact of the Golden Compass Clinical Care Program for Older People with HIV: A Qualitative Study.
    Tan JY, Greene M, Blat C, Albers A, Grochowski J, Oskarsson J, Shiels M, Hsue P, Havlir D, Gandhi M, Myers J
    AIDS Behav, 2022 May, 26(5): 1562-1571 | PMID: 34705153 | PMCID: PMC8548856
    Citations: | AltScore: 1
  27. KIBRA, MTNR1B, and FKBP5 genotypes are associated with decreased odds of incident delirium in elderly post-surgical patients.
    Terrelonge M, LaHue SC, Tang C, Movsesyan I, Pullinger CR, Dubal DB, Leung J, Douglas VC
    Sci Rep, 2022 Jan 11, 12(1): 556 | PMID: 35017578 | PMCID: PMC8752781
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 0.75
  28. Changes in older adults' life space during lung cancer treatment: A mixed methods cohort study.
    Wong ML, Shi Y, Smith AK, Miaskowski C, Boscardin WJ, Cohen HJ, Lam V, Mazor M, Metzger L, Presley CJ, Williams GR, Loh KP, Ursem CJ, Friedlander TW, Blakely CM, Gubens MA, Allen G, Shumay D, Walter LC
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022 Jan, 70(1): 136-149 | PMID: 34611887 | PMCID: PMC8742783
    Citations: | AltScore: 124.99
  1. Effect of reductions in amyloid levels on cognitive change in randomized trials: instrumental variable meta-analysis.
    Ackley SF, Zimmerman SC, Brenowitz WD, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Gold AL, Manly JJ, Mayeda ER, Filshtein TJ, Power MC, Elahi FM, Brickman AM, Glymour MM
    BMJ, 2021 Feb 25, 372: n156 | PMID: 33632704 | PMCID: PMC7905687
    Citations: 9 | AltScore: 291.75
  2. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Ethical Challenges Posed by Neoliberal Healthcare.
    Ahlbach C, King T, Dzeng E
    J Gen Intern Med, 2021 Jan, 36(1): 205-206 | PMID: 33111238 | PMCID: PMC7592127
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 15.95
  3. Pre-estimating subsets: A new approach for unavailable predictors in prognostic modeling.
    Aliberti MJR, Kotwal AA, Smith AK, Lee SJ, Banda S, Boscardin WJ
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 May 17, 69(9): 2675-2678 | PMID: 34002370 | PMCID: PMC8440346
    Citations: | AltScore: NA
  4. Meaningful Activities and Sources of Meaning for Community-Dwelling People Living with Dementia.
    Allison TA, Gubner JM, Oh A, Harrison KL, Pham K, Barnes DE, Johnson JK, Covinsky KE, Smith AK
    J Am Med Dir Assoc, 2021 Sep 2, 23(7): 1191-1196.e1
    pii: S1525-8610(21)00735-0. | PMID: 34481793 | PMCID: PMC8888776
    Citations: | AltScore: 14.89
  5. Do Caregiving Factors Affect Hospitalization Risk Among Disabled Older Adults?
    Amjad H, Mulcahy J, Kasper JD, Burgdorf J, Roth DL, Covinsky K, Wolff JL
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Jan, 69(1): 129-139 | PMID: 32964422 | PMCID: PMC7856284
    Citations: 3 | AltScore: 110.39
  6. Older Adults' Persistence to Antihypertensives Prescribed at Hospital Discharge: a Retrospective Cohort Study.
    Anderson TS, Jing B, Fung K, Steinman MA
    J Gen Intern Med, 2021 Jan 19, 36(12): 3900-3902 | PMID: 33469765 | PMCID: PMC8642581
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 17.15
  7. Intensification of Diabetes Medications at Hospital Discharge and Clinical Outcomes in Older Adults in the Veterans Administration Health System.
    Anderson TS, Lee AK, Jing B, Lee S, Herzig SJ, Boscardin WJ, Fung K, Rizzo A, Steinman MA
    JAMA Netw Open, 2021 Oct 1, 4(10): e2128998 | PMID: 34673963 | PMCID: PMC8531994
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 197.98
  8. Appendicular Lean Mass, Grip Strength, and the Development of Hospital-Associated Activities of Daily Living Disability among Older Adults in the Health ABC Study.
    Andrews JS, Gold LS, Reed MJ, Garcia JM, McClelland RL, Fitzpatrick AL, Hough CL, Cawthon PM, Covinsky KE
    J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2021 Nov 3, 77(7): 1398-1404
    pii: glab332. | PMID: 34734252 | PMCID: PMC9255680
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 4.45
  9. Population-Based Screening for Functional Disability in Older Adults.
    Ankuda CK, Freedman VA, Covinsky KE, Kelley AS
    Innov Aging, 2021, 5(1): igaa065 | PMID: 33506111 | PMCID: PMC7817111
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 1
  10. Ten Urgent Priorities Based on Lessons Learned From More Than a Half Million Known COVID-19 Cases in US Prisons.
    Barnert E, Kwan A, Williams B
    Am J Public Health, 2021 Jun, 111(6): 1099-1105 | PMID: 33856887 | PMCID: PMC8101573
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 51.88
  11. Lower urinary tract symptoms and incident functional limitations among older community-dwelling men.
    Bauer SR, Cawthon PM, Ensrud KE, Suskind AM, Newman JC, Fink HA, Lu K, Scherzer R, Hoffman AR, Covinsky K, Marshall LM, Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Research Group.
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Dec 24, 70(4): 1082-1094 | PMID: 34951697 | PMCID: PMC8986604
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 27.99
  12. Longitudinal Changes in Adiposity and Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Among Older Men.
    Bauer SR, Harrison SL, Cawthon PM, Senders A, Kenfield SA, Suskind AM, McCulloch CE, Covinsky K, Marshall LM, Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Research Group.
    J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2021 Aug 10
    pii: glab227. | PMID: 34375402
    Citations: | AltScore: 2.25
  13. Physical Activity, Diet, and Incident Urinary Incontinence in Postmenopausal Women: Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.
    Bauer SR, Kenfield SA, Sorensen M, Subak LL, Phelan S, Gupta LR, Chen B, Suskind AM, Park AJ, Iglesia C, Gass M, Hohensee C, Breyer BN
    J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2021 Aug 13, 76(9): 1600-1607 | PMID: 33963837 | PMCID: PMC8555422
    Citations: | AltScore: 5.3
  14. Assessment of Frailty and Association With Progression of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Symptoms and Serious Adverse Events Among Men Using Drug Therapy.
    Bauer SR, Walter LC, Ensrud KE, Suskind AM, Newman JC, Ricke WA, Liu TT, McVary KT, Covinsky K
    JAMA Netw Open, 2021 Nov 1, 4(11): e2134427 | PMID: 34817584 | PMCID: PMC8613596
    Citations: | AltScore: 13.85
  15. Variation in COVID-19 Mortality Across 117 US Hospitals in High- and Low-Burden Settings.
    Block BL, Martin TM, Boscardin WJ, Covinsky KE, Mourad M, Hu LL, Smith AK
    J Hosp Med, 2021 Apr, 16(4): 215-218 | PMID: 33734977 | PMCID: PMC8025591
    Citations: 9 | AltScore: 33.04
  16. Life satisfaction among older adults with impairment in activities of daily living.
    Boccaccio DE, Cenzer I, Covinsky KE
    Age Ageing, 2021 Nov 10, 50(6): 2047-2054 | PMID: 34510173 | PMCID: PMC8581387
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 8.15
  17. Identification of non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients at risk for treatment-related vertebral density loss and fractures.
    Bodden J, Sun D, Joseph GB, Huang LW, Andreadis C, Hughes-Fulford M, Lang TF, Link TM
    Osteoporos Int, 2021 Feb, 32(2): 281-291 | PMID: 32803319 | PMCID: PMC7838070
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 11.25
  18. Surviving traumatic injury, only to die of acute drug poisoning: Should trauma centers be a path for intervention?
    Bongiovanni T, Hernandez S, Ledesma Y, Menza R, Wick E, Steinman M, Mackersie R, Stein DM, Coffin PO
    Surgery, 2021 Oct, 170(4): 1249-1254 | PMID: 33867166
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 12.2
  19. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Association Between Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Operative Bleeding in the Perioperative Period.
    Bongiovanni T, Lancaster E, Ledesma Y, Whitaker E, Steinman MA, Allen IE, Auerbach A, Wick E
    J Am Coll Surg, 2021 May, 232(5): 765-790.e1 | PMID: 33515678 | PMCID: PMC9281566
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 208.549999999999
  20. Changes in the Hierarchy of Functional Impairment from Middle Age to Older Age.
    Brown RT, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Boscardin WJ, Cappola AR, Lee SJ, Steinman MA
    J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2021 Sep 8
    pii: glab250. | PMID: 34498040
    Citations: | AltScore: 7.65
  21. Difficulty Taking Medications: a Corollary to Dementia Risk.
    Chen P, Covinsky K
    J Gen Intern Med, 2021 Apr, 36(4): 861-862 | PMID: 33532953 | PMCID: PMC8041952
    Citations: | AltScore: 6.25
  22. Public Opinions About Surgery in Older Adults: A Thematic Analysis.
    Dharmasukrit C, Ramaiyer M, Dillon EC, Russell MM, Dutt M, Colley A, Tang VL
    Ann Surg, 2021 Nov 9 | PMID: 35129499 | PMCID: PMC9081294
    Citations: | AltScore: NA
  23. A Novel Method for Identifying a Parsimonious and Accurate Predictive Model for Multiple Clinical Outcomes.
    Diaz-Ramirez LG, Lee SJ, Smith AK, Gan S, Boscardin WJ
    Comput Methods Programs Biomed, 2021 Jun, 204: 106073 | PMID: 33831724 | PMCID: PMC8098121
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: NA
  24. Individualizing Surveillance Mammography for Older Patients After Treatment for Early-Stage Breast Cancer: Multidisciplinary Expert Panel and International Society of Geriatric Oncology Consensus Statement.
    Freedman RA, Minami CA, Winer EP, Morrow M, Smith AK, Walter LC, Sedrak MS, Gagnon H, Perilla-Glen A, Wildiers H, Wildes TM, Lichtman SM, Loh KP, Brain EGC, Ganschow PS, Hunt KK, Mayer DK, Ruddy KJ, Jagsi R, Lin NU, Canin B, LeStage BK, Revette AC, Schonberg MA, Keating NL
    JAMA Oncol, 2021 Apr 1, 7(4): 609-615 | PMID: 33507222 | PMCID: PMC8944384
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 138.9
  25. Barriers and facilitators to older adults' use of nonpharmacologic approaches for chronic pain: a person-focused model.
    Garrett SB, Nicosia F, Thompson N, Miaskowski C, Ritchie CS
    Pain, 2021 Nov 1, 162(11): 2769-2779 | PMID: 33902095 | PMCID: PMC8426428
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 2.85
  26. Polypharmacy among older adults with dementia compared with those without dementia in the United States.
    Growdon ME, Gan S, Yaffe K, Steinman MA
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Jun 8, 69(9): 2464-2475 | PMID: 34101822 | PMCID: PMC8440349
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 113.87
  27. A Web-Based eHealth Intervention to Improve the Quality of Life of Older Adults With Multiple Chronic Conditions: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.
    Gustafson DH Sr, Mares ML, Johnston DC, Mahoney JE, Brown RT, Landucci G, Pe-Romashko K, Cody OJ, Gustafson DH Jr, Shah DV
    JMIR Res Protoc, 2021 Feb 19, 10(2): e25175 | PMID: 33605887 | PMCID: PMC7935655
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 7.25
  28. Understanding the Health Characteristics and Treatment Choices of Older Men with Stress Urinary Incontinence.
    Hampson LA, Suskind AM, Breyer BN, Lai L, Cooperberg MR, Sudore RL, Keyhani S, Allen IE, Walter LC
    Urology, 2021 Aug, 154: 281-287 | PMID: 34004214 | PMCID: PMC9012599
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 5.25
  29. Virtual Research Stakeholder Groups with Isolated Homebound Elders and Caregivers: Lessons Learned Relevant to Research during Pandemics.
    Harrison KL, Leff B, Garrigues SK, Eaton England AL, Perissinotto CM, Sheehan OC, Mickler AK, Basyal PS, Ritchie CS
    J Palliat Med, 2021 Apr, 24(4): 481-483 | PMID: 33395555 | PMCID: PMC7987355
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 3.25
  30. Impact of exergames on psychiatric symptoms in older adults with serious mental illness.
    Heinbach M, Block A, Hubbard E, Cataldo J, Cooper B, Leutwyler H
    Aging Ment Health, 2021 Dec, 25(12): 2229-2234 | PMID: 33081505 | PMCID: PMC8459700
    Citations: | AltScore: NA
  31. Reasons for discordance and concordance between POLST orders and current treatment preferences.
    Hickman SE, Torke AM, Heim Smith N, Myers AL, Sudore RL, Hammes BJ, Sachs GA
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Jul, 69(7): 1933-1940 | PMID: 33760226 | PMCID: PMC8273119
    Citations: 3 | AltScore: 32.45
  32. Factors associated with concordance between POLST orders and current treatment preferences.
    Hickman SE, Torke AM, Sachs GA, Sudore RL, Tang Q, Bakoyannis G, Heim Smith N, Myers AL, Hammes BJ
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Jul, 69(7): 1865-1876 | PMID: 33760241 | PMCID: PMC8292991
    Citations: 3 | AltScore: 53.35
  33. Do Life-sustaining Treatment Orders Match Patient and Surrogate Preferences? The Role of POLST.
    Hickman SE, Torke AM, Sachs GA, Sudore RL, Tang Q, Bakoyannis G, Smith NH, Myers AL, Hammes BJ
    J Gen Intern Med, 2021 Feb, 36(2): 413-421 | PMID: 33111241 | PMCID: PMC7878602
    Citations: 4 | AltScore: 35
  34. High incidence of fractures after R-CHOP-like chemotherapy for aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
    Huang LW, Sun D, Link TM, Lang T, Ai W, Kaplan LD, Steinman MA, Andreadis C
    Support Care Cancer, 2021 Mar 10, 29(9): 5399-5408 | PMID: 33694088 | PMCID: PMC8295123
    Citations: | AltScore: 10.5
  35. Live discharge from hospice for people living with dementia isn't \graduating\-It's getting expelled.
    Hunt LJ, Harrison KL
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Jun, 69(6): 1457-1460 | PMID: 33855701 | PMCID: PMC8192462
    Citations: 5 | AltScore: 53.29
  36. Instead of wasting money on aducanumab, pay for programs proven to help people living with dementia.
    Hunt LJ, Harrison KL, Covinsky KE
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Dec, 69(12): 3690-3692 | PMID: 34480351 | PMCID: PMC8648993
    Citations: | AltScore: 161.35
  37. Examining the bidirectional relationship between food insecurity and healthcare spending.
    Johnson KT, Palakshappa D, Basu S, Seligman H, Berkowitz SA
    Health Serv Res, 2021 Feb 17, 56(5): 864-873 | PMID: 33598952 | PMCID: PMC8522574
    Citations: 4 | AltScore: 18.8
  38. Prescribing Trend of Inappropriate Medications in Outpatient Clinics for Older Adults With Heart Failure in the United States: NAMCS 2012 to 2016.
    Kobayashi M, Kwak MJ, Aguilar D, Goyal P, Holmes HM, Deshmukh AA, Aparasu RR
    Am J Cardiol, 2021 Aug 1, 152: 168 | PMID: 34045051 | PMCID: PMC9190247
    Citations: | AltScore: NA
  39. The epidemiology of social isolation and loneliness among older adults during the last years of life.
    Kotwal AA, Cenzer IS, Waite LJ, Covinsky KE, Perissinotto CM, Boscardin WJ, Hawkley LC, Dale W, Smith AK
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Jul 11, 69(11): 3081-3091 | PMID: 34247388 | PMCID: PMC8595510
    Citations: 3 | AltScore: 132.59
  40. A peer intervention reduces loneliness and improves social well-being in low-income older adults: A mixed-methods study.
    Kotwal AA, Fuller SM, Myers JJ, Hill D, Tha SH, Smith AK, M Perissinotto C
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Dec, 69(12): 3365-3376 | PMID: 34449870 | PMCID: PMC8648986
    Citations: | AltScore: 60.18
  41. Use of High-risk Medications Among Lonely Older Adults: Results From a Nationally Representative Sample.
    Kotwal AA, Steinman MA, Cenzer I, Smith AK
    JAMA Intern Med, 2021 Nov 1, 181(11): 1528-1530 | PMID: 34309620 | PMCID: PMC8314172
    Citations: | AltScore: 296.32
  42. Unmet Need for Equipment to Help With Bathing and Toileting Among Older US Adults.
    Lam K, Shi Y, Boscardin J, Covinsky KE
    JAMA Intern Med, 2021 May 1, 181(5): 662-670 | PMID: 33749707 | PMCID: PMC7985819
    Citations: 4 | AltScore: 283.146
  43. Tracking Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Tamsulosin Side Effects Among Older Men Using a Mobile App (PERSONAL): Feasibility and Usability Study.
    Lee AW, Kenfield SA, Wang EY, Enriquez A, Oni-Orisan A, Steinman MA, Sim I, Breyer BN, Bauer SR
    JMIR Form Res, 2021 Dec 10, 5(12): e30762 | PMID: 34889745 | PMCID: PMC8709917
    Citations: | AltScore: NA
  44. A Novel Metric for Developing Easy-to-Use and Accurate Clinical Prediction Models: The Time-cost Information Criterion.
    Lee SJ, Smith AK, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Covinsky KE, Gan S, Chen CL, Boscardin WJ
    Med Care, 2021 May 1, 59(5): 418-424 | PMID: 33528231 | PMCID: PMC8026517
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 8.1
  45. Genetic Risk of Alzheimer's Disease and Sleep Duration in Non-Demented Elders.
    Leng Y, Ackley SF, Glymour MM, Yaffe K, Brenowitz WD
    Ann Neurol, 2021 Jan, 89(1): 177-181 | PMID: 32951248 | PMCID: PMC8048405
    Citations: 8 | AltScore: 44
  46. Mental and Physical Health of Older Incarcerated Persons Who Have Aged in Place in Prison.
    Li A, Williams B, Barry LC
    J Appl Gerontol, 2021 Jul 23, 41(4): 1101-1110 | PMID: 34293936 | PMCID: PMC8783920
    Citations: | AltScore: 2.5
  47. Policy in Clinical Practice: Choosing Post-Acute Care in the New Decade.
    Makam AN, Grabowski DC
    J Hosp Med, 2021 Mar, 16(3): 171-174 | PMID: 33617438 | PMCID: PMC7929615
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 9.7
  48. Agent Orange Exposure and Dementia Diagnosis in US Veterans of the Vietnam Era.
    Martinez S, Yaffe K, Li Y, Byers AL, Peltz CB, Barnes DE
    JAMA Neurol, 2021 Apr 1, 78(4): 473-477 | PMID: 33492338 | PMCID: PMC7835948
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 97.08
  49. Deconstructing the Complexities of Advance Care Planning Outcomes: What Do We Know and Where Do We Go? A Scoping Review.
    McMahan RD, Tellez I, Sudore RL
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Jan, 69(1): 234-244 | PMID: 32894787 | PMCID: PMC7856112
    Citations: 7 | AltScore: 40.69
  50. Physical inactivity in older adults with cognitive impairment without dementia: room for improvement.
    Miller MJ, Cenzer I, Barnes DE, Covinsky KE
    Aging Clin Exp Res, 2021 Oct 21, 34(4): 837-845 | PMID: 34674188 | PMCID: PMC9021326
    Citations: | AltScore: 11.6
  51. Perspective: The Convergence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Food Insecurity in the United States.
    Nagata JM, Seligman HK, Weiser SD
    Adv Nutr, 2021 Mar 31, 12(2): 287-290 | PMID: 32970098 | PMCID: PMC7543276
    Citations: 3 | AltScore: 26.65
  52. A Toolkit for Community-Based, Medicaid-Funded Case Managers to Introduce Advance Care Planning to Frail, Older Adults: A Pilot Study.
    Nouri SS, Ritchie C, Volow A, Li B, McSpadden S, Dearman K, Kotwal A, Sudore RL
    J Palliat Med, 2021 Mar, 24(3): 428-432 | PMID: 32865472 | PMCID: PMC7894043
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 9.15
  53. Deprescribing Blood Pressure Treatment in Long-Term Care Residents.
    Odden MC, Lee SJ, Steinman MA, Rubinsky AD, Graham L, Jing B, Fung K, Marcum ZA, Peralta CA
    J Am Med Dir Assoc, 2021 Dec, 22(12): 2540-2546.e2 | PMID: 34364847 | PMCID: PMC8627463
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 34.5
  54. Front-Line Hospice Staff Perceptions of Barriers and Opportunities to Discussing Advance Care Planning With Hospice Patients and Their Families.
    Oh A, Allison TA, Mahoney K, Thompson N, Ritchie CS, Sudore RL, Harrison KL
    J Am Med Dir Assoc, 2021 Aug 13, 23(7): 1205-1214.e2
    pii: S1525-8610(21)00651-4. | PMID: 34391713 | PMCID: PMC8840996
    Citations: | AltScore: 5.1
  55. Engagement in Meaningful Activities Among Older Adults With Disability, Dementia, and Depression.
    Oh A, Gan S, Boscardin WJ, Allison TA, Barnes DE, Covinsky KE, Smith AK
    JAMA Intern Med, 2021 Apr 1, 181(4): 560-562 | PMID: 33492334 | PMCID: PMC7835951
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 83.19
  56. Feasibility of a Brief Intervention to Facilitate Advance Care Planning Conversations for Patients with Life-Limiting Illness in the Emergency Department.
    Pajka SE, Hasdianda MA, George N, Sudore R, Schonberg MA, Bernstein E, Tulsky JA, Block SD, Ouchi K
    J Palliat Med, 2021 Jan, 24(1): 31-39 | PMID: 32471321 | PMCID: PMC7757694
    Citations: 5 | AltScore: 7.7
  57. Long-term individual and population functional outcomes in older adults with atrial fibrillation.
    Parks AL, Jeon SY, Boscardin WJ, Steinman MA, Smith AK, Fang MC, Shah SJ
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Mar 5, 69(6): 1570-1578 | PMID: 33675093 | PMCID: PMC8442883
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 7.95
  58. The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Lived Experience of Diverse Older Adults Living Alone With Cognitive Impairment.
    Portacolone E, Chodos A, Halpern J, Covinsky KE, Keiser S, Fung J, Rivera E, Tran T, Bykhovsky C, Johnson JK
    Gerontologist, 2021 Feb 23, 61(2): 251-261 | PMID: 33404634 | PMCID: PMC7901518
    Citations: 8 | AltScore: 60.3
  59. Functional Disability Among Older Versus Younger Adults With Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.
    Presley CJ, Arrato NA, Janse S, Shields PG, Carbone DP, Wong ML, Han L, Gill TM, Allore HG, Andersen BL
    JCO Oncol Pract, 2021 Jun, 17(6): e848-e858 | PMID: 33939536 | PMCID: PMC8258136
    Citations: 5 | AltScore: 11.75
  60. Immunotherapy in Older Adults With Cancer.
    Presley CJ, Gomes F, Burd CE, Kanesvaran R, Wong ML
    J Clin Oncol, 2021 Jul 1, 39(19): 2115-2127 | PMID: 34043444 | PMCID: PMC8260908
    Citations: 4 | AltScore: 69.6
  61. Prisons and COVID-19: A Desperate Call for Gerontological Expertise in Correctional Health Care.
    Prost SG, Novisky MA, Rorvig L, Zaller N, Williams B
    Gerontologist, 2021 Jan 21, 61(1): 3-7 | PMID: 32706885 | PMCID: PMC7454571
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 52.5
  62. Use of Services by People Living Alone With Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review.
    Rosenwohl-Mack A, Dubbin L, Chodos A, Dulaney S, Fang ML, Merrilees J, Portacolone E
    Innov Aging, 2021, 5(1): igab004 | PMID: 33796795 | PMCID: PMC7990060
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 1
  63. \Now I Feel a Little Bit More Secure\: The Impact of SNAP Enrollment on Older Adult SSI Recipients.
    Savin K, Morales A, Levi R, Alvarez D, Seligman H
    Nutrients, 2021 Dec 4, 13(12):
    pii: 4362. | PMID: 34959914 | PMCID: PMC8707609
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: NA
  64. Lower urinary tract symptoms are associated with musculoskeletal pain among older men: Preliminary evidence for central sensitization as a mechanism?
    Senders A, Bauer SR, Chen Y, Oken B, Fink HA, Lane NE, Sajadi KP, Marshall LM, For The Osteoporotic Fractures In Men MrOS Study Group
    Neurourol Urodyn, 2021 Nov, 40(8): 1929-1938 | PMID: 34396562 | PMCID: PMC8556292
    Citations: | AltScore: 5.7
  65. Extending Advance Care Planning to Black Americans in the Community: A Pilot Study of the PREPARE Program.
    Skolarus LE, Brown DL, Corches CL, Reynolds E, Bailey S, Mansour M, Robles MC, Rice T, Springer MV, Burke JF, Sudore RL
    J Pain Symptom Manage, 2021 Jul, 62(1): e4-e9 | PMID: 33647422 | PMCID: PMC8435356
    Citations: | AltScore: 4.75
  66. Expanding Evidence for Clinical Care of Older Adults: Beyond Clinical Trial Traditions and Finding New Approaches.
    Steinman MA, Boyd CM, Schmader KE
    JAMA, 2021 Aug 10, 326(6): 475-476 | PMID: 34292309
    Citations: 5 | AltScore: 59.35
  67. Deprescribing and deimplementation: Time for transformative change.
    Steinman MA, Boyd CM, Spar MJ, Norton JD, Tannenbaum C
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Dec, 69(12): 3693-3695 | PMID: 34499742 | PMCID: PMC8649037
    Citations: | AltScore: 42.75
  68. Comparative Outcomes for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery among Nursing Home Residents and Matched Community Dwelling Older Adults.
    Suskind AM, Zhao S, Boscardin WJ, Covinsky K, Finlayson E
    J Urol, 2021 Jan, 205(1): 199-205 | PMID: 32808855 | PMCID: PMC7725928
    Citations: 3 | AltScore: 0.75
  69. Comparative outcomes for older adults undergoing surgery for bladder and bowel dysfunction.
    Suskind AM, Zhao S, Nik-Ahd F, Boscardin WJ, Covinsky K, Finlayson E
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Aug, 69(8): 2210-2219 | PMID: 33818753 | PMCID: PMC8373651
    Citations: 1 | AltScore: 1.6
  70. Changes in functional status associated with radiation for prostate cancer in older veterans.
    Ursem C, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Boscardin J, Lee S
    J Geriatr Oncol, 2021 Jun, 12(5): 808-812 | PMID: 33388282 | PMCID: PMC8184565
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 0.25
  71. Development and validation of the Trauma-Related Cognitions Scale.
    Valdez CE, London MJ, Gregorich SE, Lilly MM
    PLoS One, 2021, 16(4): e0250221 | PMID: 33857236 | PMCID: PMC8049256
    Citations: | AltScore: 0.25
  72. Low Rates of Advance Care Planning (ACP) Discussions Despite Readiness to Engage in ACP Among Liver Transplant Candidates.
    Wang CW, Lebsack A, Sudore RL, Lai JC
    Dig Dis Sci, 2021 May, 66(5): 1446-1451 | PMID: 32500286 | PMCID: PMC7714700
    Citations: 4 | AltScore: 1.75
  73. Perceptions of Older Men Using a Mobile Health App to Monitor Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Tamsulosin Side Effects: Mixed Methods Study.
    Wang EY, Breyer BN, Lee AW, Rios N, Oni-Orisan A, Steinman MA, Sim I, Kenfield SA, Bauer SR
    JMIR Hum Factors, 2021 Dec 24, 8(4): e30767 | PMID: 34951599 | PMCID: PMC8742207
    Citations: | AltScore: NA
  74. Applying the Multiphase Optimization Strategy for the Development of Optimized Interventions in Palliative Care.
    Wells RD, Guastaferro K, Azuero A, Rini C, Hendricks BA, Dosse C, Taylor R, Williams GR, Engler S, Smith C, Sudore R, Rosenberg AR, Bakitas MA, Dionne-Odom JN
    J Pain Symptom Manage, 2021 Jul, 62(1): 174-182 | PMID: 33253787 | PMCID: PMC8274323
    Citations: 5 | AltScore: 13.6
  75. Association of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting vs Percutaneous Coronary Intervention With Memory Decline in Older Adults Undergoing Coronary Revascularization.
    Whitlock EL, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Smith AK, Boscardin WJ, Covinsky KE, Avidan MS, Glymour MM
    JAMA, 2021 May 18, 325(19): 1955-1964 | PMID: 34003225 | PMCID: PMC8132142
    Citations: 2 | AltScore: 124.82
  76. The growing geriatric prison population: A dire public health consequence of mass incarceration.
    Williams B, DiTomas M, Pachynski A
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Dec, 69(12): 3407-3409 | PMID: 34469589 | PMCID: PMC8648927
    Citations: | AltScore: 16.5
  77. Formal and informal social participation and elder mistreatment in a national sample of older adults.
    Yang EZ, Kotwal AA, Lisha NE, Wong JS, Huang AJ
    J Am Geriatr Soc, 2021 Jun 9, 69(9): 2579-2590 | PMID: 34105769 | PMCID: PMC8440381
    Citations: | AltScore: 66.26
  78. Evaluation of Time to Benefit of Statins for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Adults Aged 50 to 75 Years: A Meta-analysis.
    Yourman LC, Cenzer IS, Boscardin WJ, Nguyen BT, Smith AK, Schonberg MA, Schoenborn NL, Widera EW, Orkaby A, Rodriguez A, Lee SJ
    JAMA Intern Med, 2021 Feb 1, 181(2): 179-185 | PMID: 33196766 | PMCID: PMC7670393
    Citations: 4 | AltScore: 275.39


Jean Kutner, MD, MPH/MSPH
School of Medicine, University of Colorado
Serving since 2013 (9 years)

Mark S. Lachs, MD
Weil Cornell Medicine
Serving since 2013 (9 years)

Seth Landefeld, MD
School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Serving since 2013 (9 years)


Recognition and Awards not specified.


General Brief Description of Minority Activities:
Not defined.

Minority Trainee(s):
  • Anna Oh, BSN, MSN, MPH , former VAQS fellow, now nurse scientist at Stanford
    Engagement in meaningful activities – enjoyable physical, leisure, social, spiritual activities related to personal interests and values – gives life identity and purpose, and is therefore beneficial to the emotional and physical well-being of older adults. As older adults age and become more susceptible to disease, disability, and cognitive impairment, the ability to participate and engage in meaningful activities place the older adult at higher risk of loss of identity and well-being. Dr. Oh’s cross-sectional examination published in JAMA IM of meaningful activity engagement in the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) found functional disability was the leading factor of nonengagement. Yet, diverse racial and ethnic groups of older adults may have varying experiences with meaningful activity engagement over time due to cultural and language barriers as well as limited access to services and resources. Little is known about meaningful activity engagement in diverse groups of older adults from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, its relationship to disability, and barriers and facilitators for engagement, such as social support, neighborhood factors, and socioeconomic and demographic factors. Previous studies have documented concerning racial and ethnic differences in the experience of aging, older Americans and their caregivers in caregiving experiences, access to and use of in-home rehabilitation services, and advance care planning. In addition to reducing racial and ethnic differences and health disparities, culturally-sensitive, community-based interventions have the potential to increase access to high-quality healthcare for diverse older adults. Culturally-sensitive, community-based interventions that include assessments of meaningful activity engagement can guide goals of care conversations, medical treatment recommendations, and target existing services and supports (e.g. home health, hospice, long-term services and supports) for older adults to stay engaged in meaningful activities. The objective of this study is to identify activity engagement in older, community-dwelling African-American/Black, Latinx/Hispanic, Asian, and bi/multiracial NHATS participants before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data and findings from this research will be a springboard for a K23 award where Dr. Oh will examine longitudinally the barriers and facilitators to staying engaged in meaningful activities. Through support from this award, the Pepper Center is helping to catalyze Dr. Oh’s long-term goal is to become a clinician leader who improves the quality-of-life of diverse, community-dwelling, seriously ill older adults with home-based models of care.
  • Jennifer E. James, PhD, MSW, MS, Assistant Professor, Institute for Health & Aging at UCSF
    Incarceration and the health of currently and formerly incarcerated individuals was highlighted as an important social determinant of health in Healthy People 2020. Individuals with a history of incarceration report more chronic health problems after incarceration than before (Schnittker & John, 2007), in many cases regardless of the length of time served (Schnittker & John, 2007; Massoglia, 2008). Compared to the general population, incarcerated persons are more likely to have high blood pressure, asthma, cancer, arthritis and infectious diseases (Healthy People 2020) and studies have shown that women with a history of incarceration face a greater disease burden than men with a history of incarceration (Healthy People 2020; Covington, 2007). Ninety percent of recently released women have chronic medical, mental health, or substance use disorders, which is significantly higher than the general population (Mallik-Kane & Visher, 2005; Schnittker, Massoglia & Uggen, 2012). Additionally, within the first two weeks after release, recently released individuals have a 12.7 times higher mortality rate than the general population and that relative risk is higher for women than men (Binswanger et al., 2007). Being Black, being a woman, being poor and having a history of incarceration each confer serious health risks (Braithwaite, Treadwell, & Arriola, 2008). The overall goal of this study is to use interviews and ethnographic observation to better understand the intersection of these interconnected forms of risk. Dr. James will use a novel qualitative interview approach called “collective dialogue”, grounded in Black Feminist Epistemology, that engages participants in the analysis of the data they produce with the researcher over the course of open-ended interviews about their lives. This method, which Dr. James developed and piloted in her dissertation, enables her to center the lived experience of older, formerly incarcerated Black women and enables the women to participate in the production of knowledge about themselves. These interviews, combined with ethnographic observations of organizations advocating for the health and welfare of currently and formerly incarcerated women, will produce a multi-faceted and multilayered account of post-incarceration experiences of women with chronic disease and how they access healthcare. Currently, she is continuing to recruit participants for interviews. Her interviews to date have produced incredibly rich data. She is currently working with two research assistants to analyze the data, and have submitted abstracts based on preliminary findings to four conferences, and have been invited to present at two conferences this summer. However, attendance for conferences have been placed on hold due to COVID 19 safety protocols.
  • Linda Park, RN, PhD, FNP, Associate Professor
    UCSF RCMAR (Center for Aging in Diverse Communities or CADC) has been dedicated to eliminating health disparities in minority aging populations. Their goal is to support work that focuses on understanding health disparities and building and testing community-engaged interventions to reduce disparities among older adults. Like the UCSF Pepper Center, one of our most important missions is to train and mentor talented, underrepresented junior investigators to develop independent research careers focused on health disparities and aging issues. During this year, CADC and UCSF Pepper Center have provided joint support for the following project and investigator: Improving Health Disparities by Promoting Physical Activity Among Asian American Older Adults with Cardiovascular Disease: A Pilot Study Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality, affecting 43.7 million older adults age 60 and over. To ameliorate this, cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a highly effective, Class I level guideline-recommended 12-week group program that offers supervised physical activity (PA) after cardiac events (e.g., myocardial infarction, revascularization, valve replacement). It has been shown to improve physical function and decrease morbidity and mortality in older adults. Thus, maintaining PA after CR is essential in older adults to gain and maintain the critical benefits of improved physical function (balance, gait, strength, and endurance). PA maintenance after CR is also linked to reduced adverse geriatric outcomes such as falls and mobility impairment but thereby increases susceptibility to adverse secondary cardiac events, functional decline, and depression. Although it is estimated that minority individuals from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds will comprise ~50% of the total U.S. population, minority older adults have more CVD burden than non-Hispanic Whites and have disproportionately lower rates of enrollment and adherence to CR (20% enrollment in Whites vs.8% in non-Whites). Asian Americans (AA) have been identified as a high-risk population for CVD based on genetic predisposition, coronary risk factor profile, and behaviors (e.g., PA and diet). In general, AA are less physically active than non-Hispanic Whites. Specific for CR participation, barriers may include cultural, socioeconomic, and linguistic challenges but it is unknown what the perceived barriers and facilitators are to continue PA behaviors after CR completion. Modifiable targets related to sustained PA may include depression and anxiety and slower self-efficacy, motivation, and social support. Tailored, accessible, and culturally appropriate interventions are urgently needed for AA older adults to promote sustained PA after CR to reduce future cardiac events. The objective of this mixed-methods proposal is to conduct a pilot study that will collect the critical data needed for a clinical trial to promote sustained PA through digital coaching after CR completion with a focus on improving physical function for AA older adults. This pilot work will reduce persistent health disparities that exist for ethnic minorities so we can target modifiable factors for sustained PA after CR. The under lying hypothesis is that there are distinct differences in barriers, facilitators, and preferences for interventions that aim to sustain PA after CR, thus requiring cultural tailoring for AA. My long-term career goal is to become a leading academic investigator who develops and tests behavioral interventions to improve older adults’ health and well-being with CVD. While the COVID-19 pandemic led to delays in the initiation of this project, work on this project has now resumed, and Dr. Park plans to complete the survey distribution and conduct individual interviews by June 2021. Dr. Park and her team are IRB approved to achieve the study aims.

Minority Grant(s):