The Community-Academic Aging Research Network: A Pipeline for Dissemination.

Author: Mahoney JE1, Pinzon MM1, Myers S2, Renken J2, Eggert E2, Palmer W1
Author Information:
1Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.
2Wisconsin Institute for Health Aging, Madison, Wisconsin.
Conference/Journal: J Am Geriatr Soc.
Date published: 2020 Feb 10
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/jgs.16363. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 291

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The Community-Academic Aging Research Network (CAARN) was created to increase the capacity and effectiveness of Wisconsin's Aging Network and the University of Wisconsin to conduct community-based research related to aging. The purpose of this article is to describe CAARN's infrastructure, outcomes, and lessons learned.

DESIGN: Using principles of community-based participatory research, CAARN engages stakeholders to participate in the design, development, and testing of older adult health interventions that address community needs, are sustainable, and improve health equity.

SETTING: Academic healthcare and community organizations.

PARTICIPANTS: Researchers, community members, and community organizations.

INTERVENTION: CAARN matches academic and community partners to develop and test evidence-based programs to be distributed by a dissemination partner.

MEASUREMENTS: Number of partnerships and funding received.

RESULTS: CAARN has facilitated 33 projects since its inception in 2010 (30 including rural populations), involving 46 academic investigators, 52 Wisconsin counties, and 1 tribe. These projects have garnered 52 grants totaling $20 million in extramural and $3 million in intramural funding. Four proven interventions are being prepared for national dissemination by the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging: one to improve physical activity; one to reduce bowel and bladder incontinence; one to reduce sedentary behavior; and one to reduce falls risk among Latinx older adults. Additionally, one intervention to improve balance using a modified tai chi program is being disseminated by another organization.

CONCLUSION: CAARN's innovative structure creates a pipeline to dissemination by designing for real-world settings through inclusion of stakeholders in the early stages of design and by packaging community-based health interventions for older adults so they can be disseminated after the research has been completed. These interventions provide opportunities for clinicians to engage with community organizations to improve the health of their patients through self-management.

© 2020 The American Geriatrics Society.

KEYWORDS: community-based participatory research; disseminationhealth promotionimplementation; translational

PMID: 32039476 DOI: 10.1111/jgs.16363