Research

The Division has several faculty members that are engaged in research. Educational research is being done as a component of our large educational grant programs (Reynolds and VGEC), looking at the impact of several educational models, curricula, and venues on learner knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to aging, as well as function on inter-professional teams.

Below are descriptions of ongoing research in Geriatrics:

    Divisional faculty members are looking at tiered population health management in a younger population with a subset that has advanced chronic illness in the Virginia Coordinated Care program. Working with Dr. Wally Smith, Dr. Boling co-wrote a $1.2 million, two-year grant funded by AHRQ for this evaluation which involves Dr. Arline Bohannon who is medical director for that program. Dr. Bohannon has a longstanding interest in health disparities and quality of care for minority populations.

    The impact of the geriatric medicine consultation service is under evaluation by Dr. Sarah Hobgood who has worked with two AFAR student grantees on this initiative and has presented several abstracts, including promising initial data related to the geriatric trauma patient population.

    VCU Transitional Care has data, gathered since 2000, has generated abstracts regarding cost savings and improved quality. These data along with data from the House Calls program that has operated for 25 years helped to anchor the Independence at Home (IAH) Act, and the subsequent approval of the mid-Atlantic Independence at Home consortium as one of the demonstration sites. Overall evaluation of the IAH demonstration is under CMS contract to an outside vendor.

    Pam Parsons, MSN, PhD has internal funding to examine the impact of inter-professional service learning venues on clinical care outcomes and learner skills and behaviors, working with Pharmacy and Social Work. She has also developed pilot data on biopsychosocial causes of the symptom of fatigue in elders that live in low income housing, and has published on coordination of care and use of ambulance care for emergency services in this publication. She has recently completed work on a contract from HUD to look at unmet needs and service use by elders in low income housing which is an area of particular interest for her.

    Dr. Michael Godschalk has study male health problems with a particular focus on urinary incontinence, as well as male sex hormone changes with age.

    Dr. Angela Gentili is engaged in a VA study of personalized care for older adults with low back pain working with Deborah Weiner at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Along with medical education, the Division is interested in health services research related to a number of topics in the realm of improved chronic illness care, as well as clinical research on specific conditions and therapies, and research on aging itself.