The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has awarded a five-year grant expected to total $53.4 million to Brown University and Hebrew SeniorLife to lead the creation and management of a research incubator to test Alzheimer’s and dementia care interventions in real-world settings.
Called the NIA Imbedded Pragmatic AD/ADRD Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Collaboratory, the incubator will be produced with the help of more than 30 research institutions nationwide, including the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
The overarching goal is to spur innovation to help patients and their caregivers. The IMPACT collaboratory is intended to foster development of practical clinical trials conducted in environments that include hospitals, homes, assisted living facilities, adult day centers and nursing homes, while serving as a nationwide resource for future clinical trial development.
The collaboratory calls for funding, guiding, and assessing up to 40 pilot investigations. Another goal is development of best practices for implementing and measuring patient care, which will be shared with scientists at large.
“This grant will revolutionize the national infrastructure for research into how care is delivered to people living with dementia and their caregivers,” Vince Mor, collaboration co-leader, said in a press release. Mor is a professor of health services, policy and practice at Brown’s School of Public Health. “The key is figuring out how to take an idea that worked in an ideal situation and adapt it so it can be piloted in the messy real-world system of care providers that exists across the U.S.”
It is hoped the pilot projects will produce data necessary to influence larger federally supported investigations to improve care and health outcomes. The idea is that testing dementia care enhancements in everyday settings will permit broader and and more diverse participation, and fortify the applicability and implementation of investigative results in real-world settings.
“These pilot projects will seed full-scale studies aimed at both improving the quality of life and health outcomes of people with dementia, and reducing the immense stress and health effects that caring for this population has on family and professional caregivers,” said a statement by Ab Brody, PhD, RN, associate professor at NYU Meyers and co-leader of the incubator’s Pilot Core, which will fund the trials.
“It will also foster the expertise and career growth of researchers in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, enhancing the nation’s capacity to conduct clinical research on aging,” Brody said.
In the projects, collaborators will help with ethical issues such as how to gain consent from Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. They also will help with technical support, project design, advice regarding measurement of patient and caregiver-reported outcomes, results dissemination, partnerships with healthcare systems interested in conducting trials, inclusion of diverse populations and cultures, and best practices.
“The NIA IMPACT Collaboratory will transform the delivery, quality and outcomes of care provided to Americans with dementia and their caregivers by accelerating the testing and adoption of evidence-based interventions within healthcare systems,” said Susan Mitchell, MD, collaboration co-leader and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Hebrew Senior Life is a Harvard Medical School affiliate that offers senior housing and healthcare, research into aging, and education for geriatric care providers. It will partner with Brown to manage the collaboratory.
The NIA is part of the National Institutes of Health.
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