Because of the essential nature of interdisciplinary collaboration in geriatric social work, the Geriatric Social Work Initiative has collected stories of collaborative research, as well as resources for future projects. Thank you to all those who responded to the request to share information. We invite you to view this new content, as well as submit your own. If you have something to share, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more about Interdisciplinary Collaboration, check out the issue of Ripples that started it all Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An Essential Element in Geriatric Social Work (August 2010). Ripples is the e-newsletter of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative. The archive of Ripples issues can be found here.
Alzheimer's Caregiver Research Benefits from Interdisciplinary Collaboration of Drs. Scott Wilks and Wanda Spurlock
As a Hartford Faculty Scholar, Dr. Scott Wilks focused on the resilience of Alzheimer’s caregivers in Louisiana, typically family members. It was the first study to examine the Alzheimer’s disease caregiving process that includes caregiving burden, coping strategies, and the psychological health outcome of resilience. He explored the potential ethnic differences between African American and Caucasian caregivers in this caregiving process and worked closely with Dr. Wanda Spurlock, who served as an advisor with extensive research experience with African American caregivers, particularly data collection experience in African American communities. Dr. Wanda Spurlock is a nursing faculty member at Southern University in Baton Rouge and has an extensive record of caregiver research and community work among African American communities in southern Louisiana. Dr. Wilks describes his understanding of the pathways to establishing trust and eventual data collection in these communities as "instrumental to the success of his project" and he credits the thoroughness of his resulting interdisciplinary manuscripts to their collaboration in writing on health and well-being. Dr. Wilks' research on Alzheimer's caregivers is just one of many interdisciplinary projects Hartford Faculty Scholars have participated in. For more information on his research, please contact Dr. Wilks via email at email@example.com.
Partnership Completes Integrated Literature Review for the Benefit of Older Adults Discharged from Hospital Visits
For the last three years, Colleen Galambos, Professor of Social Work, Lori Popejoy, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Kyle Moylan, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Missouri have been collaborating on research to identify and quantify problems encountered by older adults as they are discharged from hospitals. Their partnership has led to two completed studies and an integrated review of the literature. Galambos, Popejoy and Moylan continue to work together planning future research studies, producing manuscripts, and presenting their study findings at national meetings.
Nurse-Social Worker Pair Advance Research on Alzheimer's Caregiving
At the University of Pittsburgh, a mentoring partnership between social work doctoral student, Amanda Hunsaker, and nursing faculty member, Jennifer Lingler, exemplifies the potential for collaboration between these two healthcare disciplines. Hunsaker has worked with Lingler for many years, starting prior to beginning her doctoral studies. Over the years the two have completed a naturalistic study of communication during primary care visits for people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who are accompanied by family caregivers, a secondary analysis of data and continuing work in how to create better modes of communication among individuals with AD, family caregivers and health care professionals. Hunsaker and Lingler believe that social workers and nurses bring important perspectives to this work because they can empower family caregivers to play a mediative role in care decisions for loved ones with AD while being sensitive to the level of autonomy and self-determination required for the person with AD. For Lingler, a unique advantage of providing research mentoring to Hunsaker has been the synergistic effect that Hunsaker’s involvement has had on the advancement of this line of research. Hunsaker had the opportunity to work with Lingler and her research team on designing an intervention to foster caregivers’ ability to communicate with healthcare providers that has been developed for use by both nursing and social work professionals who work with this population.
Department of Energy, Harvard University and the Integrated Benefits Institute Research Aging Workforce
Dr. Jodi Jacobson, Dr. Phillip Osteen, Dr. Amy Cohen-Callow, and graduate research assistant Andrea Jones from the University of Maryland School of Social Work are an interdisciplinary team of researchers collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Harvard University, and the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) to conduct research to help better understand the unique needs of the DOE’s aging workforce. The study will focus on assessing the health, safety and productivity of the workforce with particular attention to employee and employer needs related to supporting an aging workforce. A second stage of the research is planned to focus on specific employee populations who are most likely to be affected by age as related to physical and mental job requirements, and required certifications. Results are expected to provide evidence to support future policies, programs and work requirements that will support older workers in their jobs. This study highlights the fact that we are facing challenges of an aging population that are not only of concern to gerontologists but cut across disciplines. The research team reflects this as members specialize in a variety of research areas including employee assistance programs, workplace behavioral health, workplace benefits management and human capital, occupational health and safety, organizational capacity building, and gerontology. For additional information about this research study, please contact Dr. Jacobson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geriatric Evaluation and Self Management Services Project Prepares Competent Care Providers
Dr. Noell Rowan, 2010-2012 Hartford Faculty Scholar in Geriatric Social Work, has worked on a project which utilized an interdisciplinary educational and service model to assist in preparing competent care providers. The centerpiece for the success of this Geriatric Evaluation and Self Management Services project was in recognizing and empowering expertise among multiple partners by supporting creative efforts to reach out to students, professionals, and most importantly to older adult community participants. This project provided experiential learning about how an interdisciplinary team can help a client reach goals that may not have been achieved through uncoordinated contacts amongst multiple care providers as is the norm in acute care settings. The GEMS Project was led by Dr. Anna C. Faul, Hartford Faculty Scholar in Geriatric Social Work at University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work.
Engaging Home Care Clinicians in Research, published in Home Healthcare Nurse, Oct. 2009 (abstract)
Diane K. Pastor
In her article, Diane Pastor covers how to make the case for research in home care, how home care clinicians can contribute to research, and lessons learned in conducting community-based nursing research.
A Lesbian Older Adult Managing Identity Disclosure: A Case Study, published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, July 2010 (abstract)
David Jenkins, Charles Walker, Harriet Cohen, Linda Curry
This case study addresses understanding identity in an assisted living facility.
A Review of Discharge Planning Research of Older Adults 1990-2008, published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research, May 2009 (abstract)
Lori Lea Popejoy, Kyle Moylan, Colleen Galambos
This integrative review of the literature analyzed the research about hospital discharge planning within the historical timeline of public policy changes that affected service utilization.
*New*Hartford Report on Interdisciplinary Geriatric Research
As the number of older adults living with chronic conditions soars, so does the need for team care that brings together doctors, nurses, social workers, and other practitioners. Interdisiplinary research and training have a crucial role to play in making that kind of quality geriatric care possible. A new report from the John A. Hartford Foundation examines the challenges and rewards of such research and how it can promote team care and improve the health of older Americans. Click here to access the report.
This webpage was last updated on
July 11, 2011