Jennifer L. Wolff, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who is trained in gerontology and health services and outcomes research. This proposed NIMH Mentored Research Scientist Career Development (K01) award will provide the necessary support to facilitate Dr. Wolff's successful transition to an independent investigator in the field of geriatric mental health services intervention research. Dr. Wolff's ultimate goal is to develop a program of research to optimize family involvement in late-life depression care processes, and in doing so, to facilitate improved mental health and quality of life outcomes among older adults living with depression. The proposed training plan includes a series of learning activities to increase the candidate's knowledge of late-life depression, its treatment, and models of depression care delivery, as well as to develop new skills in health education and communication research and the conduct of clinical trials. Building on these learning activities, two types of research activities will be simultaneously pursued throughout the course of the award. First, secondary analyses will be undertaken to elucidate the influence of family involvement on late-life depression diagnosis and treatment from two points of departure: a population-based orientation using a nationally representative survey and linked administrative claims (Aim 1), and an individual patient perspective through examination of existing audio-taped encounters of patient-(family)-physician office visits (Aim 2). The second set of research activities involves primary data collection. Focus groups will be conducted with depressed older adults, their families, and primary care health professionals to ascertain facilitative and counterproductive behaviors assumed by family in depression care processes (Aim 3). Lastly, building on knowledge gained from Aims 1- 3, an intervention that seeks to optimize family involvement in depression care processes will be developed and pilot tested (Aim 4). The proposed training plan and research aims are designed to provide Dr. Wolff with the additional experience and resources necessary to support the submission of a successful R01 grant to rigorously test the efficacy of this intervention by the end of the award period.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Mental Health Services in MH Specialty Settings (SRSP)
Program Officer
Chavez, Mark
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Johns Hopkins University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Wolff, Jennifer L; Guan, Yue; Boyd, Cynthia M et al. (2017) Examining the context and helpfulness of family companion contributions to older adults' primary care visits. Patient Educ Couns 100:487-494
Wolff, Jennifer L; Darer, Jonathan D; Larsen, Kevin L (2016) Family Caregivers and Consumer Health Information Technology. J Gen Intern Med 31:117-21
Wolff, Jennifer L; Spillman, Brenda C; Freedman, Vicki A et al. (2016) A National Profile of Family and Unpaid Caregivers Who Assist Older Adults With Health Care Activities. JAMA Intern Med 176:372-9
Wolff, Jennifer L; Clayman, Marla L; Rabins, Peter et al. (2015) An exploration of patient and family engagement in routine primary care visits. Health Expect 18:188-98
Wolff, Jennifer L; Boyd, Cynthia M (2015) A Look at Person- and Family-Centered Care Among Older Adults: Results from a National Survey [corrected]. J Gen Intern Med 30:1497-504
Ameling, Jessica M; Ephraim, Patti L; Bone, Lee R et al. (2014) Adapting hypertension self-management interventions to enhance their sustained effectiveness among urban African Americans. Fam Community Health 37:119-33
Wolff, Jennifer L; Roter, Debra L; Barron, Jeremy et al. (2014) A tool to strengthen the older patient-companion partnership in primary care: results from a pilot study. J Am Geriatr Soc 62:312-9
Wolff, Jennifer L; Spillman, Brenda (2014) Older adults receiving assistance with physician visits and prescribed medications and their family caregivers: prevalence, characteristics, and hours of care. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 69 Suppl 1:S65-72
Boyd, Cynthia M; Wolff, Jennifer L; Giovannetti, Erin et al. (2014) Healthcare task difficulty among older adults with multimorbidity. Med Care 52 Suppl 3:S118-25
Giovannetti, Erin R; Reider, Lisa; Wolff, Jennifer L et al. (2013) Do older patients and their family caregivers agree about the quality of chronic illness care? Int J Qual Health Care 25:515-24

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