Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Health Professions

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Productive Aging

Interprofessional Geriatric Education

Eastern Pennsylvania – Delaware Geriatric Education Center. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Sept. 2010 – August 2015
E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Stephen B. Kern, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Tracey Vause Earland, MS, OTR/L

Description of Program of Research: Established in 2005 through a grant from The Bureau of Health Professions in the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We are a consortium which includes Thomas Jefferson University, Marywood University, The Commonwealth Medical College, University of Delaware, and the Christiana Care Health System. The mission of the Eastern Pennsylvania - Delaware Geriatric Education Center (EPaD GEC) is to address interprofessional geriatric education needs in three regions: Southeastern Pennsylvania, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the State of Delaware. The EPaD GEC is committed to improving the health and quality of life of older adults and their caregivers by translating new evidence and innovative practice models. 

Visit http://epadgec.jefferson.edu for more information

Falls Prevention

Evidence Based Practice Improvement Project: Falls Prevention, 2011-2013
Tracey Vause Earland, MS, OTR/L
(Christine Arenson, PI)
HRSA #D31HPOO8834

The Eastern Pennsylvania Delaware Geriatric Education Center (GEC) developed an Interdisciplinary Fall Prevention Clinic which uses evidence based standard of care to evaluate and manage older adults who have fallen or at risk of falling.  This research will survey patients who participate in the Falls Prevention Clinic by evaluating fear of falling using the FES-I.  A follow-up survey will be administered in person or via telephone call to the patient at 1 month, 3 months and 6 months to evaluate the clinical experience and assess the effectiveness of the intervention to prevent falls.

Low Vision

Low Vision Depression Prevention Trial for Age Related Macular Degeneration (VITAL), 2008-2013
Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, Consultant, Interventionist
Tracey Vause Earland, MS, OTR/L, Interventionist
Funded by National Eye Institute, #U01 EY018819
Farber Institute for Neurosciences, Thomas Jefferson University, PI: B. Rovner, MD

This study was a randomized, controlled clinical trial aimed to test the efficacy of an intervention to prevent depressive disorders in older persons with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The OT delivered Behavior Activation (BA) in the context of low vision occupational therapy, collaborated with low vision optometrist, and subsequently met with subjects in their homes 6 times over 12 weeks to enhance device use, home modifications, and compensatory strategies.

Neurocognitive Disorders and Caregiving

Health Related Quality of Life in Individuals with Dementia Living at Home, 2008-2010
Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, Project Director
Funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, #IIRG-07-28686
Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health (CARAH), Thomas Jefferson University
PI: L. Gitlin, PhD

A cross-sectional, descriptive study of individuals with dementia and their family caregivers, in which the prevalence of and relationships between objective indicators of health, physical and cognitive functioning of persons with dementia, supportive and hazardous home features, and quality of life as perceived by caregivers and persons with mild to moderate dementia was examined.

Jefferson Elder Care Dementia Service for Low-income Elders, 2012-2015
Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, PI
Funded by The Pew Charitable Trust

A collaborative project with Senior Community Services in Delaware County, PA and the surrounding Area Agencies on Aging to provide an in-home program for 140 individuals with dementia and their families.   Skills2Care™ for families is integrated into the program to increase caregiver knowledge and build skills to provide care successfully.

Visit the Jefferson Elder Care website, http://www.jefferson.edu/health_professions/elder_care.html, for more information.

Tailored Activity Program (TAP) Australia, 2012-2013
Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, Consultant/Trainer
Funded by Alzheimer’s Australia
University of Sydney
PI: L. Clemson, PhD

This study is a randomized, controlled clinical trial aimed to test the efficacy of the Tailored Activity Program (TAP) with individuals with dementia their family caregivers in Australia with the aim to reduce dementia-related behaviors.  Occupational therapists deliver the TAP intervention in the home for 8 sessions over three months.

Kentucky’s Tailored Activity Program, 2010-2013
Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, Consultant/Trainer
Funded by the Administration on Aging, # 90AE0348/01      
Kentucky Office on Aging,
PI: C. Crane, PhD

This translational study aims to test the efficacy of the Tailored Activity Program (TAP) for individuals with dementia and their caregivers.  The intervention is being tested in the adult day center and home environments.  Occupational therapists deliver the TAP intervention in the home for 8 sessions over three months.

In Our Own Words: The Experience of Caregiving for Adults with ID and Dementia
J. Burke, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, PI
E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Co-I
Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, Co-I
Funded by - Department of Occupational Therapy, Jefferson School of Health Professions 

Research is being conducted to learn more about the experience of the caregiving and to identify the specific language formal caregivers of persons with ID and dementia use to describe their caregiving experience. The results will inform the development of a caregiver training program specifically designed for formal caregivers working with clients with ID and dementia.

Veterans

Nonpharmacologic Management of Challenging Behaviors in Veterans with Dementia, 2011-2015
Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, Consultant/Trainer
Funded by Veterans Administration Health Services Research and Development Service, VA 248-12-Q-0789
South Georgia/North Florida Veterans Administration
PI: W. Mann, PhD, OTR/L

This study is a randomized, controlled clinical trial aimed to test the efficacy of the Tailored Activity Program (TAP) with Veterans with dementia and their family caregivers with the main outcome to reduce neuropsychiatric behaviors of dementia.  Occupational therapists deliver the TAP intervention in the home for 8 sessions over three months.

Healthy Aging: Application to Virtual Worlds

Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L
Funded by: Department of Occupational Therapy, Jefferson School of Health Professions

The Garden of Healthy Aging is an exhibit within the virtual world of Second Life consisting of 10 stations that present information about key topics related to health and wellness. Topics are derived from Rowe and Kahn’s (2007) assertion that successful aging consists of avoiding disability, maintaining high physical and cognitive function, and continuing engagement with life. Each exhibit is based on research evidence and follows best practice and research in health literacy. In addition to refining and developing new components of the exhibits, Dr. Toth-Cohen and graduate assistants collaborate with leaders in health care and communities of persons with disabilities in Second Life to hold events on health and wellness.

http://otsecondlife.wordpress.com
http://jdc.jefferson.edu/otfp/6