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: 2.12). 02/2006; 3(1):A17.
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Physician assistants and nurse practitioners (advanced practice providers [APPs]) in Texas were invited through a brief group announcement at a professional conference (approximately 100 APPs invited). Potential participants received invitations to take part in focus groups about brain health as part of the Healthy Brain Study (6,7). All interested providers were either included in focus groups or interviewed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction To facilitate national efforts to maintain cognitive health through public health practice, the Healthy Brain Initiative recommended examining diverse groups to identify stakeholder perspectives on cognitive health. In response, the Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coordinated projects to document the perspectives of older adults, caregivers of people with dementia, and primary care providers (PCPs) on maintaining cognitive health. Our objective was to describe PCPs’ perceptions and practices regarding cognitive health. Methods HAN researchers conducted 10 focus groups and 3 interviews with physicians (N = 28) and advanced practice providers (N = 21) in Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina from June 2007 to November 2008. Data were transcribed and coded axially. Results PCPs reported addressing cognitive health with patients only indirectly in the context of physical health or in response to observed functional changes and patient or family requests. Some providers felt evidence on the efficacy of preventive strategies for cognitive health was insufficient, but many reported suggesting activities such as games and social interaction when queried by patients. PCPs identified barriers to talking with patients about cognitive health such as lack of time and patient reactions to recommendations. Conclusion Communicating new evidence on cognitive health and engaging older adults in making lasting lifestyle changes recommended by PCPs and others may be practical ways in which public health practitioners can partner with PCPs to address cognitive health in health care settings.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Preventing chronic disease
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    • "Promoting healthy aging among people who already have mobility disabilities has been neglected. People with mobility disabilities may benefit from living in accordance with a healthy aging model that includes " the development and maintenance of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being and function " [4]. While the underlying mobility disability may not be reversible, general mental, physical, and cognitive health can be improved. "
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    ABSTRACT: With the aging of the baby boomer population and their accompanying burden of disease, future disability rates are expected to increase. This paper summarizes the state of the evidence regarding physical activity and aging for individuals with mobility disability and proposes a healthy aging research agenda for this population. Using a previously published framework, we present evidence in order to compile research recommendations in four areas focusing on older adults with mobility disability: (1) prevalence of physical activity, (2) health benefits of physical activity, (3) correlates of physical activity participation, and, (4) promising physical activity intervention strategies. Overall, findings show a dearth of research examining physical activity health benefits, correlates (demographic, psychological, social, and built environment), and interventions among persons aging with mobility disability. Further research is warranted.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of aging research
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    • "Also, social responsibility is a vital part of the work and role of the programme, as it tries to respond to a problem of the society as a whole [77], but again, only nearly 20% of the PA programmes' coordinators had measures or indicators to track this issue. As recognized by some authors [45,97], community involvement in these programmes is critical to its success, so it is concerning that the most of the coordinators do not pay attention to these indicators. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the past years, there has been a growing concern in designing physical activity (PA) programmes for elderly people, because evidence suggests that such health promotion interventions may reduce the deleterious effects of the ageing process. Quality is an important issue when designing a PA programme for older people. Some studies support the Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) as an operational framework for evaluating the quality of an organization. Within this context, the aim of this study was to characterize the quality management models of the PA programmes developed by Portuguese Local Administration to enhance quality of life for elderly people, according to the criteria of the EFQM Excellence Model. A methodological triangulation was conducted in 26 PA programmes using questionnaire surveys, semi-structured interviews and document analysis. We used standard approaches to the statistical analysis of data including frequencies and percentages for the categorical data. Results showed that Processes (65,38%), Leadership (61,03%), Customer results (58,46) and People (51,28%) had high percentage occurrences of quality practices. In contrast, Partnerships and resources (45,77%), People results (41,03%), Policy and strategy (37,91%), Key performance results (19,23%) and Society results (19,23%) had lower percentage occurrences. Our findings suggest that although there are some good practices in PA programmes, there are still relevant areas that require improvement.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · BMC Public Health
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