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Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine

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Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care

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Elder Abuse

The Division is internationally renowned for its expertise in the field of elder abuse and neglect and the NYC Elder Abuse Center is a project of the Division.

Division faculty bring scientific rigor to the study of elder abuse and neglect and numerous studies have been conducted on risk factors for abuse, prevalence and outcomes of mistreatment.

The Division’s research spans the elder justice field, including:

  • Domestic elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, involving family members, paid or informal care providers, or other individuals.
  • Elder abuse and neglect occurring in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living, or other short-or long-term care facilities.
  • Crime committed against older people in the community.
  • Self-neglect in older adults.

Palliative Care

The Division's innovative palliative care research encompasses both health care and community settings. Research initiatives are directed towards developing new models of palliative care delivery in patient populations that have historically not had access to palliative care, e.g., patients receiving hemodialysis. The Division works actively with various homecare agencies to understand and develop improved models of delivery in palliative and end-of-life care. These efforts include developing educational curriculum for diverse provider groups. Palliative care research is galvanized with robust partnerships with community agencies and organizations.

The Translational Research Institute for Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL) 

The Translational Research Institute for Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL) 

TRIPLL is an NIA-funded Edward R. Roybal center with a focus on the prevention and management of chronic pain in older adults. The TRIPLL Center fosters collaboration between investigators at Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell-Ithaca, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) and Council of Senior Centers & Service of NYC, Inc.

TRIPLL’s mission is to improve the prevention and management of pain in later life, thereby increasing the health and well-being of older adults. This mission is accomplished by working towards the following goals:

  • To build evidence-based pain prevention, reduction and management practices, treatments and interventions.
  • To extend research-based knowledge into diverse communities and disciplines.
  • To develop and translate research-based methods, tools and strategies that facilitate successful translation of evidence into practice.
  • To develop and maintain an effective infrastructure for conducting translational research on aging and pain in NYC.

TRIPLL faculty and staff are currently working on a variety of research studies.

 Examples include:

  • A pilot study focused on examining whether mobile health technology can improve outcomes in adults with chronic non-cancer pain.
  • A pilot study focused on the use of a mobile phone sensor application to help users identify and track their daily physical activity patterns.
  • A project geared at understanding communication and treatment planning among older adults experiencing chronic non-cancer pain. 
  • A needs assessment study focused on understanding the palliative care needs of older adults in the East and Central Harlem communities and a second study focused on establishing the feasibility of implementing a palliative care training protocol for community-based case managers in NYC. Both projects are being done in partnership with the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College and Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. 

To learn about ways to collaborate on our research projects, intern, volunteer or for more information, visit http://tripll.org/

Patient-Physician Communication

The Division is devoted to the study of communication between older patients and health professionals. Communication is the essential component of the patient-health professional relationship and a key determinant of patient health outcomes. Division faculty conduct research on the nature of communication, factors that influence communication and outcomes. A cornerstone of the research in this area has been a study of medical encounters between older patients and their physicians focusing on ways to improve communication between health professionals and patients through scientific investigation and innovative interventions for patients, family members and health professional.

Education Research  

The Division's faculty generates many innovative teaching programs for trainees of all levels. Measuring the outcomes of these educational initiatives is of high priority. Some of the Division’s work in this area include:

  • Fast Forward Rounds (FFR). The development and evaluation of a novel educational intervention aimed to foster awareness of essential elements of transitional care in third–year medical students. FFR consists of two 90-minute sessions using lectures, an interactive video, small-group discussion and a team-based learning exercise. It emphasizes functional assessment to identify patients at risk for poor discharge outcomes, promotes interdisciplinary collaboration to link vulnerable patients with appropriate services, reviews Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and teaches development of comprehensive care plans. 
  • Introduction to the Older Patient. Created materials to enable replication of a four-hour module introducing the geriatric patient for first-year medical students. This curricular intervention highlights the importance of older-patient and physician communication, the utility of an enhanced social history and functional assessment, and the pitfalls of ageism in the medical setting. The module incorporates film, the performing arts and a small group exposure to a community-residing older person.

Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medicine New York, NY