The Prevention Research Centers Healthy Aging Research Network

Health Care and Aging Studies Branch, Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.
Preventing chronic disease (Impact Factor: 1.96). 02/2006; 3(1):A17.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Prevention Research Centers Healthy Aging Research Network (PRC-HAN), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Healthy Aging program, was created in 2001 to help develop partnerships and create a research agenda that promotes healthy aging. The nine universities that participate in the network use their expertise in aging research to collaborate with their communities and other partners to develop and implement health promotion interventions for older adults at the individual, organizational, environmental, and policy levels.
The population of older adults in the United States is growing rapidly; approximately 20% of Americans will be aged 65 years or older by 2030. The health and economic impact of an aging society compel the CDC and the public health community to place increased emphasis on preventing unnecessary disease, disability, and injury among older Americans.
The PRC-HAN has a broad research agenda that addresses health-promoting skills and behaviors, disease and syndrome topics, and knowledge domains. The network chose physical activity for older adults as its initial focus for research and has initiated two networkwide projects: a comprehensive, multisite survey that collected information on the capacity, content, and accessibility of physical activity programs for older adults and a peer-reviewed publication that describes the role of public health in promoting physical activity among older adults. In addition to participating in the core research area, each network member works independently with its community committee on PRC-HAN activities.
As a result, the network is 1) expanding prevention research for older adults and their communities; 2) promoting the translation and dissemination of findings to key stakeholders; 3) strengthening PRC-HAN capacity through partnerships and expanded funding; and 4) stimulating the adoption of policies and programs by engaging policymakers, planners, and practitioners. In 2003, the PRC-HAN initiated an internal evaluation to better define the network's contributions to healthy aging, formalize internal processes, and better equip itself to serve as a model for other PRC thematic networks. The PRC-HAN is conducting a pilot evaluation for eventual inclusion in the PRC national evaluation.
The PRC-HAN has established itself as an effective research network to promote healthy aging. It has developed trust and mutual respect among participants, forged strong ties to local communities, and shown the ability to combine its expertise in healthy aging with that of partners in national, state, and local organizations.

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    ABSTRACT: Understanding longitudinal relationships among multiple chronic conditions, limitations in activities of daily living, and health-related quality of life is important for identifying potential opportunities for health promotion and disease prevention among older adults. This study assessed longitudinal associations between multiple chronic conditions and limitations in activities of daily living on health-related quality of life among older adults (≥65 years) from 2004 through 2006, using data from the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (N = 27,334). Using a longitudinal path model, we found the numbers of chronic conditions at baseline and 2-year follow-up were independently associated with more limitations in activities of daily living at 2-year follow-up. In addition, more limitations in activities of daily living at 2-year follow-up were associated with worse health-related quality of life during the follow-up time period. The association between multiple chronic conditions and indices of health-related quality of life was mediated by changes in limitations in activities of daily living. Both baseline and new multiple chronic conditions led to worse health in terms of activities of daily living and health-related quality of life and should be considered important outcomes to intervene on for improved long-term health. In addition, public health practitioners should consider addressing classes of multiple chronic conditions by using interventions designed to reduce the emergence of multiple chronic conditions, such as physical activity, reductions in smoking rates, and improved and coordinated access to health care services.
    Preventing chronic disease 09/2013; 10:E162. DOI:10.5888/pcd10.120282 · 1.96 Impact Factor
  • American journal of preventive medicine 12/2013; 45(6):745-51. DOI:10.1016/j.amepre.2013.08.010 · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A lack of physical activity and overconsumption of energy dense food is associated with overweight and obesity. The neighbourhood environment may stimulate or hinder the development and/or maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. To improve research on the obesogenicity of neighbourhood environments, reliable, valid and convenient assessment methods of potential obesogenic characteristics of neighbourhood environments are needed. This study examines the reliability and validity of the SPOTLIGHT-Virtual Audit Tool (S-VAT), which uses remote sensing techniques (Street View feature in Google Earth) for desk-based assessment of environmental obesogenicity. A total of 128 street segments in four Dutch urban neighbourhoods - heterogeneous in socio-economic status and residential density - were assessed using the S-VAT. Environmental characteristics were categorised as walking related items, cycling related items, public transport, aesthetics, land use-mix, grocery stores, food outlets and physical activity facilities. To assess concordance of inter- and intra-observer reliability of the Street View feature in Google Earth, and validity scores with real life audits, percentage agreement and Cohen's Kappa (k) were calculated. Intra-observer reliability was high and ranged from 91.7% agreement (k = 0.654) to 100% agreement (k = 1.000) with an overall agreement of 96.4% (k = 0.848). Inter-observer reliability results ranged from substantial agreement 78.6% (k = 0.440) to high agreement, 99.2% (k = 0.579), with an overall agreement of 91.5% (k = 0.595). Criterion validity was substantial to high for most of the categories ranging from 87.3% agreement (k = 0.539) to 99.9% agreement (k = 0.887) with an overall score of 95.6% agreement (k = 0.747). These study results suggest that the S-VAT is a highly reliable and valid remote sensing tool to assess potential obesogenic environmental characteristics.
    International Journal of Health Geographics 12/2014; 13(1):52. DOI:10.1186/1476-072X-13-52 · 2.62 Impact Factor

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