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Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist Christopher Callahan, M.D., was on the committee that compiled a new report delving into the state of dementia care in America and presented a blueprint for future research to improve that care. The report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) also cited work conducted by Regenstrief research teams.  

The report, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging, is called Meeting the Challenge of Caring for Persons Living with Dementia and Their Care Partners and Caregivers: A Way Forward. It discusses the limitations on existing dementia research and the need to expand research on interventions at the community level, policy level and societal level.  

The committee found two types of interventions that are supported by research: collaborative care models and an intervention aimed at supporting family caregivers. Dr. Callahan was included on the committee because of his experience with collaborative careHe reviewed the data that was available and participated in interviewing stakeholders, writing the report and making the recommendations.   

Collaborative care models integrate medical and psychosocial care, delivered by a team of providers including physicians, nurses, psychologists, care coordinators and social workers. The goal is to provide holistic care for the person with dementia and their family. This model has proven to significantly improve patient and caregiver outcomes and reduce costs. 

Dr. Callahan, Regenstrief research scientist Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, and other Regenstrief researchers tested the model for care of Alzheimer’s disease and put it into practice. The care is currently provided at the Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation. Both the initial research and the implementation is referenced in the report.   

The report recommends the agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services work with state agencies, community organizations and healthcare systems to implement this intervention with ongoing evaluation to expand the evidence base. 

Another emphasis of the report is translating research into practice. Dr. Boustani’s work on executing pragmatic trials is cited.  

Read the entire report here.

About Christopher Callahan, M.D.

In addition to his role as a research scientist at Regenstrief Institute, Christopher M. Callahan, M.D., is chief research and development officer at Eskenazi Health and a professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.  

About Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH

In addition to his role as a research scientist at Regenstrief Institute, Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, is the founding director of the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science. He is a professor and the Richard M. Fairbanks Chair in Aging Research at Indiana University School of Medicine. 

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