National Institute on Aging Awards $3.8 Million to NYU's Dr. Ab Brody & VNA Health Group to Study Dementia & Home Health Care

10-04-2018

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Visiting Nurse Association Health Group will collaborate with Abraham (Ab) Brody, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor and associate director at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing to study dementia and home health care. The study is made possible through a $3.8 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, a branch of the National Institutes of Health.

The five-year project (R01AG056610-01), which started in August 2017, examines the effectiveness of an evidence-based intervention developed by Brody’s team for home health care clinicians to improve the quality of life and reduce unnecessary healthcare utilization for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

“Most home health care clinicians are inadequately trained to care for persons living with dementia, are frustrated by their lack of training, and have difficulty assisting patients and caregivers in maintaining quality of life. This leads to adverse patient outcomes, increased caregiver stress and burnout, worse caregiver health, and unnecessary healthcare utilization,” said Brody. “The most concerning areas in need of improvement are in managing pain and behavioral and psychological disturbances in the people living with dementia, as these can have significant effects on both the person living with dementia and their caregiver.”

Aliviado Dementia Care for Home Health is an interdisciplinary, evidence-based intervention that Dr. Brody and his team developed specifically for home healthcare agencies and clinicians. Through Aliviado, registered nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists receive clinician training, mentorship and evidence-based assessment instruments, care plans, and caregiver education materials.

The NIA-funded study will expand on earlier research with a multi-site efficacy trial. Aliviado Dementia Care has shown strong preliminary results and will be randomly implemented in care teams at three diverse home healthcare agencies located in different regions of the United States. The study includes more than 300 pairs of people living with dementia and their caregivers. The researchers will measure the Aliviado Dementia Care’s impact on quality of life and symptom severity among people living with dementia; its impact on quality of life, physical and mental health in caregivers of people living with dementia; and whether it can reduce unnecessary healthcare utilization, including emergency room visits, among people living with dementia. 

VNA Health Group will test Dr. Brody’s findings in New Jersey by enrolling their home health care patients and caregivers in the Aliviado Dementia Care for Home Health intervention over the next several years. Robert J. Rosati, PhD, an investigator on the study at VNA Health Group and his research team will collect data and work with Dr. Brody on reporting the findings related to the effectiveness of the intervention.