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Chen admitted to RAND Summer Institute

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Emily Chen has been admitted to the prestigious RAND Summer Institute (RSI) this year. The RSI consists of two annual conferences that address critical issues facing the aging population: the Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists and the Demography, Economics, Psychology, and Epidemiology of Aging conference. Both conferences convene at the RAND Corporation headquarters in Santa Monica, California. The conferences are sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

Emily Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development and a research assistant to Karl Pillemer. Her primary research focus is on issues related to palliative and end of life care, including how family life and health events may lead to advance care planning for older adults. She is currently collaborating with Dr. Pillemer on a multi-year study of knowledge gaps in palliative care that utilizes interdisciplinary samples of researchers and practitioners to propose a research agenda for the field.

The RSI will give her the opportunity to improve her understanding of the patient experience that results from the most common conditions in older adults. Chen's current knowledge about health and medical care for older adults is largely centered on the psychosocial experience of patients and caregivers. The RSI approaches these topics from a biomedical perspective, which will expand her understanding of them.

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Talks at Twelve: Emily Chen, Thursday, April 11, 2013

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Measuring the Value of Program Adaptation: A Comparative Effectiveness Study of a Standard vs Culturally Adapted Arthritis Self-Help Program
Emily Chen, Ph.D. candidate, Human Development

Thursday, April 11, 2013
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Lunch will be served. This event is open to all. Parking is available in the metered lot of The Plantations across Forest Home Drive.

Adapting evidence-based programs to match the needs of local settings sounds like a great idea: what could be wrong with tailoring a program to fit users better? But program adaptation can be costly and time-consuming, especially when using community-based participatory methods. What does research tell us about the value of program adaptation? Do adapted programs (compared to the originals) produce better outcomes? Are we sure that adapted programs are as good as the original? In short, is program adaptation “worth it”?

In her talk, Emily Chen will share and discuss the results of a Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL) study that examined the effects of an adapted (vs. the original) version of the Arthritis Self-Help Program (ASHP) among 201 older adults in eight New York City senior centers. Participants in the adapted (vs. original) ASHP had significantly better attendance records and were less likely to drop out of the program.

Continued use of self-management exercises after the program ended was similar in both groups. Significant positive physical and psychosocial outcomes were documented in both programs.

The adapted ASHP improved program attendance and retention, while maintaining improvements in physical and psychosocial function. The results highlight the need for comparative studies of adapted vs. original evidence-based programs, both to quantify the benefits of adaptation and to ensure that the adapted programs are as effective as the originals.

Emily Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development. She works with Karl Pillemer and Cary Reid (Weill) on projects related to chronic disease and aging, including a recent focus on palliative and end-of-life care.

After graduating from Bryn Mawr (’03) Emily sought to work in an area that would address the issue of getting good research into the hands of people who make decisions or implement policies. She is specifically interested in issues related to health and chronic disease of older adults in the United States because she believes that understanding how to improve quality of life for this population, even in small or incremental ways, has the potential to help many people. She received her M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell in January 2012. Emily is planning a dissertation that will explore issues related to palliative care and end-of-life care planning by older adults.

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Talks at Twelve: Emily Kahoe Chen, Thursday, October 13, 2011

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Program Adaptation for the Real World: Using Principles of Community-based Participatory Research to Adapt Evidence-based Programs
Emily Kahoe Chen, graduate student, Human Development

Thursday, October 13, 2011
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Emily Kahoe Chen Brownbag Event

Evidence-based interventions (EBIs) are an important tool for community health practitioners, but there is often a mismatch between the population in which the EBI was validated and the target population in which it will be used. Methods of planned adaptation identify differences in the new target population and attempt to make changes to the EBI that accommodate these differences without diluting the program’s effectiveness. We have developed an innovative method for identifying population differences and making program changes that uses systematic and detailed feedback from program participants to guide adaptation. The Method for Program Adaptation through Community Engagement (M-PACE) outlines procedures for obtaining high-quality participant feedback and adjudicating recommendations in order to decide on program changes. M-PACE was developed during the adaptation of an evidence-based, arthritis self-management program for older adults. The application and results of the M-PACE method are presented using this case as an example.

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