HwaJung Choi, PhD is a family and labor economist and demographer by doctoral training. Her research interest has been inter-relationships among family, health, and healthcare for aging population. Her long-term career goals are: i) to become an independently funded investigator on large research projects informing public policy and intervention research toward improving health and welfare of older adults and their family caregivers dealing with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD); ii) to develop innovative data collection and utilization strategy to assess the true costs of healthcare for aging population; and iii) to become an educator of scholars in inter-disciplinary research on social science, public health, and medicine. Dr. Choi's K01 training goals are the following: i) Acquire scientific knowledge in ADRD pathophysiology and epidemiology, and ADRD care; ii) Learn further about aging research and healthcare cost assessments for an aging population; iii) Acquire qualitative research skills; iv) Update specific skills in quantitative research methods and survey data research technique that are needed to complete my proposed research; and v) Enrich research and network via participation in meetings and programs on inter-disciplinary research. The proposed research includes three aims: i) Using a longitudinal data representative of US older adults, determine the potential family care availability of older adults from prior to the onset of dementia and assess demographic and socioeconomic differences in the family availability; ii) Examine how potential family care availability influences care utilization and care costs at onset and during the course of ADRD; and iii) Conduct a mixed methods research to assess the extent to which family care availability influences care allocation and costs/burdens that an informal ADRD caregiver faces during the course of ADRD care. The University of Michigan (UM) offers an ideal research environment for the proposed research and training. The HRS, primary data source, is provided and managed by the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at UM. The NIH sponsored Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center (MADC) at UM provides rich educational resources specific to ADRD and collects/manages data of Michigan ADRD patients and their caregivers. The MADC will also facilitate Dr. Choi's qualitative research by helping with recruitments, providing facilities for focus group interviews, and assisting with data management/analysis. The proposed research will significantly inform policies and intervention programs to improve health and wellbeing of older adults with ADRD. The K01 will provide Dr. Choi critical training in ADRD and necessary research methods for her to become a full-fledged independent investigator leading an inter-disciplinary team on aging research. Therefore, the proposed K01 is directly aligned with NIA's mission that is to foster the development of research scientist in aging and to support social, economic, and health research on aging. 1

Public Health Relevance

Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) is among the most expensive diseases for individuals and the public. Family members ? spouses and adult children- provide most in-home primary care for older adults with ADRD. It is important to identify vulnerable older adults with a high risk of ADRD who lack potential family caregivers which might differ across demographic and socioeconomic groups. Detailed information on potential family care availability and its influence on care transitions for ADRD older adults are critically important for the development of policies and intervention programs to improve the wellbeing of ADRD older adults and their family caregivers and to reduce the costs of ADRD care. 1

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee (NIA)
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Patmios, Georgeanne E
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Ann Arbor
United States
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