Prof. Vouri Awarded ORA Research Funds
Professor Scott Vouri, PharmD., BCPS, CGP has received an ORA research grant of $1,000 toward his study of "Changes in Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) in New Enrollees in a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)." The PACE program is a complex type of adult day care which provides not only socialilzation services but also clinical services. Dr. Vouri and his colleagues, Stephanie Seaton, Pharm.D., and Pharm.D. candidates Shane Austin, Marquita Martin, and Ashley Gordon seek to learn if access to these services, plus the increased socialization will have an impact on the mood of program participants who have depressive symptoms when they enter the program. The goal is to more judiciously consider the utilization of antidepressants for patients in such broad service programs.
ORA Research Projects
Here’s a look at some of our research:
- Community Livability Project
A livable community typically features affordable housing, accessible transportation systems, and supportive health care services, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). We provided digital cameras for 18 senior residents of a small Missouri community—dubbed “Fieldcrest” for this study—and asked them to produce snapshots defining their community’s livability. Specifically, we asked them to photograph an answer to the question, “What does it mean to be a senior citizen in ‘Fieldcrest,’ Missouri?” Our researchers subsequently met with participants to discuss what they photographed over a 10-day period. For more information, contact Elizabeth Rattine-Flaherty at Elizabeth.Rattine-Flaherty@stlcop.edu or Patrick Fontane at Patrick.Fontane@stlcop.edu.
- Dementia Project
In this ongoing collaborative effort, a STLCOP student proposes and develops an age-related dementia research project with a faculty mentor from the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) of Washington University. The student reports on the project and helps prepare a manuscript for publication in a professional journal. For more information, contact Elizabeth Rattine-Flaherty at Elizabeth.Rattine-Flaherty@stlcop.edu or Patrick Fontane at Patrick.Fontane@stlcop.edu.
- Development of Drugs for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease
This research aims to provide an early test for Alzheimer’s disease. Using computer models, researchers are trying to identify potential drugs that would bind to proteins known to be indicators of the disease. Those drugs would be tagged with a dye so that medical practitioners could detect the Alzheimer’s indicators with a tissue sample. For more information contact John Beale at email@example.com.
- Dimensions of Religiosity and Life Satisfaction Among Older Adults
Evidence consistently links religious behavior and devotional activities—such as attending religious services or private prayer—to indicators of life satisfaction and general health. We analyzed data gathered by Neal Krause in 2005, and came up with preliminary findings that indicate seniors’ “religiousness” is related to a sense of control that includes perceived social support. Contact Patrick Fontane at Patrick.Fontane@stlcop.edu for more information.
- Discovery of Potential Drugs for Treatment of Dementia
This project employs computer modeling to research compounds that interact with proteins involved in age-related and other types of dementias that may treat or prevent such conditions. Contact John Beale at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Geriatric Medication Game
We periodically update the Geriatric Medication Game© that the ORA developed more than 20 years ago to introduce student pharmacists, nurses, and physicians to the everyday challenges older adults face in our nation’s health care system. Participants assume the identity of an older person in the role-playing game, increasing their understanding of the problems the elderly confront as they deal with common medication-related situations. The next revision of the game will reflect changes due to the Affordable Care Act. More information about the game may be found here.
- Older Volunteers Project
Our analysis of a survey conducted at 12 Midwest community senior citizens centers found that older adults “specialized” in their volunteering. A third of the survey’s respondents served as volunteers, but about 46 percent volunteered only at a senior center and nearly 48 percent volunteered only in the community. For more information, contact Patrick Fontane at Patrick.Fontane@stlcop.edu.
- Student Perceptions of Older Adults
We began surveying STLCOP first-year students in 2000 to learn about their perceptions of older people, and conduct the survey each fall in our Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to Psychology classes. Our goal is to chart young adult views of older adults, and to see the attitudes of students in a health profession curriculum change as they near graduation. Contact Patrick Fontane at Patrick.Fontane@stlcop.edu for more information.