New England Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center

Boston, MA, United States

New England Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center

Boston, MA, United States
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Romine P.E.,Harvard University | Kiely D.K.,Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital | Holt N.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Percac-Lima S.,Massachusetts General Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Aging and Health | Year: 2017

Objective: Fatigue is a common condition contributing to disability among older patients. We studied self-reported task-specific fatigue and its relation with mobility task performance among community-dwelling primary care patients. Method: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline demographic and health data from a prospective cohort study of 430 primary care patients aged 65 years or older. Fatigue was measured using the Avlund Mobility-Tiredness Scale. Performance tasks included rising from a chair, walking 4 m, and climbing two flights of stairs. Results: Among demographic and health factors, pain was the only attribute consistently predictive of fatigue status. Self-reported chair rise fatigue and walking fatigue were associated with specific task performance. Stair climb fatigue was not associated with stair climb time. Discussion: Pain is strongly associated with fatigue while rising from a chair, walking indoors, and climbing stairs. This study supports the validity of self-reported chair rise fatigue and walking fatigue as individual test items. © SAGE Publications.


Schmidt C.T.,MGH Institute of Health Professions | Ward R.E.,New England Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center | Ward R.E.,Harvard University | Suri P.,VA Puget Sound Health Care System | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy | Year: 2017

Background and Purpose: Mobility problems are common among older adults. Symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis (SLSS) is a major contributor to mobility limitations among older primary care patients. In comparison with older primary care patients with mobility problems but without SLSS, it is unclear how mobility problems differ in older primary care patients with SLSS. The purpose of this study was to compare health characteristics, neuromuscular attributes, and mobility status in a sample of older primary care patients with and without SLSS who were at risk for mobility decline. We hypothesized that patients with SLSS will manifest poorer health and greater severity of neuromuscular impairments and mobility limitations. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of the Boston Rehabilitative Study of the Elderly (Boston RISE). Fifty community-dwelling primary care patients aged 65 years or older at risk for mobility decline met inclusion criteria. SLSS was determined on the basis of computerized tomography (CT) scan and self-reported symptoms characteristic of neurogenic claudication. Outcome measures included health characteristics, neuromuscular attributes (trunk endurance, limb strength, limb speed, limb strength asymmetry, ankle range of motion [ROM], knee ROM, kyphosis, sensory loss), and mobility (Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument: basic and advanced lower extremity function subscales, 400-meter walk test, habitual gait speed, and Short Physical Performance Battery score). Health characteristics were collected at a baseline assessment. Neuromuscular attributes and mobility status were measured at the annual visit closest to conducting the CT scan. Results and Discussion: Five participants met criteria for having SLSS. Differences are reported in medians and interquartile ranges. Participants with SLSS reported more global pain, a greater number of comorbid conditions [SLSS: 7.0 (2.0) vs no-SLSS: 4.0 (2.0), P <.001], and experienced greater limitation in knee ROM [SLSS: 115.0° (8.0°) vs no-SLSS: 126.0° (10.0°), P =.04] and advanced lower extremity function than those without SLSS. A limitation of this study was its small sample size and therefore inability to detect potential differences across additional measures of neuromuscular attributes and mobility. Despite the limitation, the differences in mobility for participants with SLSS may support physical therapists in designing interventions for older adults with SLSS. Participants with SLSS manifested greater mobility limitations that exceeded meaningful thresholds across all performance-based and self-reported measures. In addition, our study identified that differences in mobility extended beyond not just walking capacity but also across a variety of tasks that make up mobility for those with and without SLSS. Conclusion: Among older primary care patients who are at risk for mobility decline, patients with SLSS had greater pain, higher levels of comorbidity, greater limitation in knee ROM, and greater limitations in mobility that surpassed meaningful thresholds. These findings can be useful when prioritizing interventions that target mobility for patients with SLSS. Copyright © 2017 Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, APTA.


Wilkinson D.,University of Kent | Zubko O.,University of Kent | Degutis J.,New England Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center | Degutis J.,Harvard University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Neuropsychology | Year: 2010

We describe the effects of galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) on an individual who, following right hemisphere stroke, is unable to copy figures accurately. His copies contain most of the constituent elements, but are poorly integrated and drawn in a seemingly haphazard manner. To test whether GVS could help overcome these difficulties, we administered the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure copy task while manipulating both the presence and laterality of the galvanic signal. The signal was applied at a level that was too low to elicit sensation which ensured that the individual was unaware of either when or on what side he was being stimulated. Relative to a sham condition, two consecutive blocks of GVS increased both the accuracy with which the main configurai elements of the figure were reconstructed, and there was some, albeit less consistent evidence, that these were drawn in a more wholistic as opposed to piecemeal manner. Improvement was not reliant on the polarity of the stimulating electrodes. These results suggest that GVS can help overcome difficulties in the perception and/or reconstruction of hierarchical visual form, and thereby uncover a new link between vestibular information processing and visual task performance. © 2010 The british Psychological Society.


Cho K.,Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center | Cho K.,Harvard University | Gagnon D.R.,Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center | Gagnon D.R.,Boston University | And 9 more authors.
International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2014

Growing evidence suggests that Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia are underdiagnosed and poorly documented. In our study, we describe patterns of dementia coding and treatment in the Veteran's Administration New England Healthcare System. We conducted a retrospective cohort study with new outpatient ICD-9 codes for several types of dementia between 2002 and 2009. We examined healthcare utilization, medication use, initial dementia diagnoses, and changes in diagnoses over time by provider type. 8,999 veterans received new dementia diagnoses during the study period. Only 18.3% received a code for cognitive impairment other than dementia, most often "memory loss" (65.2%) prior to dementia diagnosis. Two-thirds of patients received their initial code from a PCP. The etiology of dementia was often never specified by ICD-9 code, even by specialists. Patients followed up exclusively by PCPs had lower rates of neuroimaging and were less likely to receive dementia medication. Emergency room visits and hospitalizations were frequent in all patients but highest in those seen by dementia specialists. Dementia medications are commonly used off-label. Our results suggest that, for the majority the patients, no prodrome of the dementia syndrome is documented with diagnostic code, and patients who do not see dementia specialists have less extensive diagnostic assessment and treatment. © 2014 Kelly Cho et al.


Schepker C.A.,Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital | Schepker C.A.,Harvard University | Schepker C.A.,Touro College | Leveille S.G.,University of Massachusetts Boston | And 13 more authors.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society | Year: 2016

Objectives To examine the effect of pain and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) - together and separately - on performance-based and self-reported mobility outcomes in older adults in primary care with mild to moderate self-reported mobility limitations. Design Cross-sectional analysis. Setting Academic community outpatient clinic. Participants Individuals aged 65 and older in primary care enrolled in the Boston Rehabilitative Impairment Study in the Elderly who were at risk of mobility decline (N = 430). Measurements Participants with an average score greater than three on the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) were defined as having pain. MCI was defined using age-adjusted scores on a neuropsychological battery. Multivariable linear regression models assessed associations between pain and MCI, together and separately, and mobility performance (habitual gait speed, Short Physical Performance Battery), and self-reports of function and disability in various day-to-day activities (Late Life Function and Disability Instrument). Results The prevalence of pain was 34% and of MCI was 42%; 17% had pain only, 25% had MCI only, 17% had pain and MCI, and 41% had neither. Participants with pain and MCI performed significantly worse than all others on all mobility outcomes (P <.001). Participants with MCI only or pain only also performed significantly worse on all mobility outcomes than those with neither (P <.001). Conclusion Mild to moderate pain and MCI were independently associated with poor mobility, and the presence of both comorbidities was associated with the poorest status. Primary care practitioners who encounter older adults in need of mobility rehabilitation should consider screening them for pain and MCI to better inform subsequent therapeutic interventions. © 2016, the Authors Journal compilation.


Horvath K.J.,New England Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center | Horvath K.J.,Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital | Horvath K.J.,Boston University | Horvath K.J.,Center for Health Quality Outcomes and Economics Research | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2013

This randomized clinical trial tested a new self-directed educational intervention to improve caregiver competence to create a safer home environment for persons with dementia living in the community. The sample included 108 patient/caregiver dyads: the intervention group (n = 60) received the Home Safety Toolkit (HST), including a new booklet based on health literacy principles, and sample safety items to enhance self-efficacy to make home safety modifications. The control group (n = 48) received customary care. Participants completed measures at baseline and at twelve-week follow-up. Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) was used to test for significant group differences. All caregiver outcome variables improved in the intervention group more than in the control. Home safety was significant at P ≤ 0.001, caregiver strain at P ≤ 0.001, and caregiver self-efficacy at P = 0.002. Similarly, the care receiver outcome of risky behaviors and accidents was lower in the intervention group (P ≤ 0.001). The self-directed use of this Home Safety Toolkit activated the primary family caregiver to make the home safer for the person with dementia of Alzheimer's type (DAT) or related disorder. Improving the competence of informal caregivers is especially important for patients with DAT in light of all stakeholders reliance on their unpaid care. © 2013 Kathy J. Horvath et al.

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