Associated Funded Projects

2022-2023

Gabriela Cohen
Gabriela Cohen

1. Gabriela Cohen, MD

What matters Most for Patients with dementia and their caregivers: An Analysis of Dementia Care in an Outpatient Geriatrics Clinic

Supported by: FAME Grant from the Department of Medicine, Emory University.

Project Description

The overall purpose of this project is to describe and understand the areas of fit and disconnect between clinic-based care plans and goals of care and what matters most to patients with dementia and comorbidity.

AIM

The main aim is to compare the established care plans for complex multi-morbid patients living with various stages of dementia with a plan that emerges after a geriatric assessment and then a conversation about care preferences and priorities for patients living with dementia and their caregivers.

2021-2022

James K. Rilling, Ph.D.
James K. Rilling, Ph.D.

1. James K. Rilling, Ph.D.

The neurobiology of adult caregiving and its modulation by an intervention designed to increase cognitive empathy

Supported by: Emory Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology Support to the Roybal Center, Emory Center for Health in Aging Pilot Research Funds and Emory Goizuetta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

AIM 1

Use functional MRI to measure the neural response of adult caregivers to viewing photos of their patients, and determine if these neural responses are correlated with perceived caregiver burden, depression and anxiety, as well as caregiver cognitive and emotional empathy.

AIM 2

Implement a simple photo captioning intervention designed to augment caregiver cognitive empathy for the patient, and determine if the intervention alters caregiver neural responses to the patient, levels of inflammation in caregivers, or caregiver burden, depression and anxiety.

Jane Lowers, PhD, MPA
Jane Lowers, PhD, MPA

2. Jane Lowers, PhD, MPA

Aging Alone with Dementia: A Qualitative Investigation of Care-seeking and Caregiving

Supported by: Emory Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology Support to the Roybal Center and Center for Health in Aging Research Pilot funds.

This study, with co-investigators Dr. Ken Hepburn and Dr. Molly Perkins, will identify how people with early dementia and non-family caregivers enter and navigate caregiving relationships. This formative work will inform development of interventions to help nontraditional dyads or networks prepare for common care needs in the dementia trajectory.

AIM 1

Describe the barriers and facilitators identified by adults aging solo with early dementia about current and future needs for informal care.

AIM 2

Describe the experiences of informal, non-spouse, non-child caregivers of individuals who are in late-stage dementia or have died with dementia.

AIM 3

Establish a stakeholder advisory committee and present key findings from Aims 1 and 2 to generate components of a testable intervention.

2020-2021

Madeleine E. Hackney, PhD
Madeleine E. Hackney, PhD

1. Madeleine E. Hackney, PhD

Mechanisms of Enhancing Mastery via Health Education for Caregivers for Individuals with Lewy Body Dementias (LBD)

Supported by: Emory Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology Support to the Roybal Center.

Lewy Body Dementias (LBD), an umbrella term for the conditions, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease dementias (PDD), is the second most common dementia in the U.S. Major autonomic LBD symptoms may have greater impact on daily life than those of AD. Caregiver interventions to improve caregiving mastery for patients with LBD are greatly needed. The main activity of this pilot trial (Aim 1) will allow investigators to design an educational program for LBD caregivers. A second activity (Aim 2), separately supported by Emory’s Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) Research Center of Excellence (RCOE) will allow us to determine effect sizes to power a future clinical trial. Aim 1: Using focus group identification of attitudes and beliefs concerning educational content and approaches to improving caregiving mastery and the barriers and facilitators to delivering an educational intervention, design a prototype LBD educational program delivered remotely. Aim 2: Test the feasibility and acceptability of the educational intervention designed in Aim 1 and use effect size results to establish power estimates for a future trial.

Lindsay Prizer, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Lindsay Prizer, PhD, MSW, LCSW

2. Lindsay Prizer, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Developing a Mastery Empowerment Program for MCI Dyads

Supported By: Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology support for the Roybal Center.

AIM 1

Organize a socioeconomically diverse Advisory Committee of persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and their carepartners. Then using a collaborative planning approach, intervention mapping, and caregiver mastery principles outlined in The Savvy Caregiver program, we will guide the Advisory Committee in the development of a comprehensive, novel psychoeducation program for an MCI patient and carepartner population. The intervention will focus on improving caregiving mastery, mood, quality of life, among other outcomes.

AIM 2

Evaluate the developed intervention through pilot testing in small groups of 4-6 dyads (n=60) with quantitative outcomes measured at pre-test, posttest, and 3 months follow-up after the program. Following the completion of the intervention, feasibility and acceptability will be assessed through in-depth interviews with a sub-sample of (n=30) intervention participants.