The mission of the Center for Aging and Population Health - Prevention Research Center (CAPH-PRC) is to promote active life expectancy in older adults by conducting and translating research on the prevention of late life disability. The CAPH-PRC has implemented scalable programs among underserved older adults at high risk for multiple chronic conditions in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and rural Pennsylvania (PA) counties since 2001. For this renewal application community needs and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention priorities were considered. The CAPH-PRC multidisciplinary team is proposing several new initiatives and a novel implementation research project designed to reduce obesity and subsequent chronic disease in old age. This aligns well with the Department of Health and Human Services Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions as CAPH-PRC efforts promote "use of proven self-care management and other services by individuals with multiple chronic conditions". Specifically, through collaborations with state and county Departments of Aging and Health, data resources from health and aging services will be linked to enhance the surveillance of disability and chronic disease in older adults. New technologies, platforms, outreach, and partners will be used to continue to disseminate the "10 Keys"TM to Healthy Aging, a long-standing CAPH-PRC community-based program. The program will be delivered to Allegheny County senior centers through webcasts and embedded in APPRISE, a PA Department of Aging program in counties with high rates of chronic disease. Training of public health professionals and community partners, leveraging the experiences of working with our Center as part of existing research and training programs will continue. The implementation research project will focus on mitigating obesity, which is a risk factor for many chronic diseases. Obesity is increasing more in older adults than any other age group. Concerns about weight loss in older adults have been allayed by the successful impact of healthy lifestyle weight loss and activity programs on improving function without adverse effects. Recent results from the Look AHEAD Trial showed the effectiveness of an intervention for weight loss and improved physical function. This project will systematically implement and sustain an evidence-based weight management intervention, modeled after Look AHEAD, in the community setting. "The Mobility and Vitality Lifestyle Program" - "MOVE UP" will 1) adapt, develop and pilot a community-based, translational behavioral weight management program delivered by community health workers, 2) implement and evaluate the program's impact on physical functioning, using a stepped wedge crossover design in obese adult participants aged 60-75 years in underserved communities in Allegheny County, and 3) develop strategies for sustainability considering the cost of the program, organizational capacity, and program adaptation to inform future dissemination.
Obesity is a major threat to mobility and independence in older adults. We will systematically implement an evidence-based weight management lifestyle intervention in obese older adults aged 60 and above in underserved communities of the Monongahela Valley. Weight loss may lead to improved physical function in these individuals.