Guidry News Service recently visited with Dr. Elena Volpi, the interim director of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston’s Sealy Center on Aging and the principal investigator for UTMB in a $30 million national study to prevent falls in older people. Listen (9:23)
“This is a study that has been put together by the Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center consortium and has been funded by the National Institutes on Aging and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which is a new institute created as a consequence of the Affordable Care Act,” Dr. Volpi said. “What this study is about is to try and rationalize primary care of older adults who are at risk for falling"
Dr. Volpi said the research will include seniors in their homes and in the "free world" - not in nursing homes or other institutions. She said the study will be run from primary clinics with existing senior patients as the study subjects, using innovative methodologies to address potential causes of falling.
“They are actually approaches that we all know work,” she said, listing as examples; vitamin D supplements as a treatment; eye exams to make sure there are no vision-related problems that could cause a fall; and analysis of the patient’s walking ability by a physical therapist. “We do know that each patient has different needs and different problems.”
Along with UTMB, the other trial sites are Essentia Health, Duluth, Minnesota; HealthCare Partners, Torrance, California; Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.; Mount Sinai Health System, New York; Partners HealthCare, Waltham, Massachusetts; Reliant Medical Group, Worcester, Massachusetts University of Iowa Health Alliance, Iowa City, Iowa; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
For the official UTMB news release on this research Click Here