. The major function of this Core (RRC-B) is to support the research of the two intervention studies in this OAIC, as well as that of pilot studies supported by the OAIC. A second important function of RRC-B is to train young investigators in geriatrics and gerontology who are interested in research relevant to maintenance of functional independence of the elderly, in the performance of the procedures available within the RRC- B. To the extent that the investigators' time and the resources of the RRC-B permit, the RRC-B will also support other pilot and preliminary studies as well as funded studies in geriatrics and gerontology. Use of the Core will be prioritized on the basis of the relevance of the research to the goal of this OAIC, which is to find effective means of preventing and reversing physical frailty and maintaining functional independence of the elderly. A specific function of RRC-B is to quantitatively assess physical performance capabilities and degree of physical frailty. This will include a physical performance test that correlates with degree of physical frailty and predict loss of independence and nursing home admission, as well as evaluation of range- of-motion, balance, gait, coordination, speed-of-movement, and strength. Another function of RRC-B is to apply physical therapy expertise to the initial evaluation of the volunteers to assist in identifying the functional impairments (e.g., muscle weakness, limited range-of-motion, poor balance, etc.) responsible for the frailty, and any pathological processes (e.g., arthritis, other orthopedic problems, decreased proprioception, etc.) underlying the functional impairments. A third function is to train young investigators in geriatrics and gerontology who are interested in research relevant to maintenance of functional independence of the elderly, in the performance of the functional assessments in RRC-B. This will provide an opportunity for junior faculty, research associates, and master and doctoral students in physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise science, and other disciplines to gain expertise in the functional assessments of frail elderly that are applicable to their own research in areas relating to maintenance of independence of older people. Performing the functional assessments in RRC-B instead of in each of the intervention studies is intended to increase efficiency by eliminating the need to have personnel trained in the performance of the procedures in each of the studies and by eliminating the need to duplicate equipment. Furthermore, having all the assessments performed by the same physical therapist will enhance data quality by decreasing data variability.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Washington University
Saint Louis
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