There is currently no effective methodology for early detection and treatment of Alzheimer?s disease in rural minority older adults, despite their increased risk. The overall objective of this K01 is to propel the development of Dr. Lisa Wiese as an independent researcher in community based participatory research (CBPR) interventions that position her for achieving her career goal of empowering these underserved residents to age-in-place and delay costly institutionalization. Research: The proposed research, Detecting Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias in Rural Underserved Communities through Community Based Participatory Research adapts Schoenberg?s proven model of faith-based interventions of education, screening, and referral for rural Appalachian residents (Faith Moves Mountains [FMM] 2009, 2011, 2012, 2016), to a different population and disease. We will apply the FMM intervention to increase a) AD knowledge and awareness of benefits of cognitive screening b) cognitive screening frequency among rural, minority and older adults (SA1). We will assess acceptance of dementia risk disclosure and referral, and evaluate adherence for follow-through with providers (SA2). We will examine the impact of FMM on local healthcare providers? rates of AD diagnosis and treatment of both referred and non-referred patients (SA3). The findings from this study will inform the discovery of best practices for detection, diagnosis, and early intervention for rural and minority older populations at risk for AD; two groups vastly underrepresented in AD research. Candidate: Dr. Wiese is in her fourth year as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. Four training goals are designed to enhance her trajectory toward becoming an independent, successfully funded investigator: 1. Gain expertise in CBPR for designing and testing a culturally relevant intervention. 2. Enhance skills in developing advanced statistical models for analyzing intervention research. 3. Expand understanding of state of the science regarding aging, health disparities, and AD. 4. Develop leadership skills for executing multicenter studies and mentoring junior researchers. Mentors/Environment: The current career development plan includes experiential learning with Dr. Galvin (as the primary mentor) in his clinical research setting. It also includes training in CBPR, learning advanced statistics through completion of well-established academic coursework, updating knowledge regarding science of aging, disease, and disparities through attendance at National Institute of Aging and Hartford Institutes, and increasing skills as a leader and scholar through monthly Skype or face-to-face meetings with the co-mentor Dr. Lingler, and collaborators Drs. Schoenberg and Williams. Dr. Wiese will continue to receive support from her own institution through internal grants, faculty education, and travel for networking and scholarship. The Office of Nursing Research and Scholarship, which assisted Dr. Wiese with successfully securing several previous small grants, including a summer research release, and multiple publications, has multiple avenues to support junior faculty.
The short-term goal of this K01 is the development of the PI as an independent investigator in Community Based Participatory Research to improve health of two groups who are vastly underrepresented in aging research: rural and minority older adults. The K research proposal is the PI?s next step in discovering best practices for Alzheimer?s disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment in these underserved communities. The long-term goal is to mitigate disparities facing rural and minority older adults, thereby empowering their ability to age-in-place and delay costly institutionalization.