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Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist Kathleen Unroe, M.D., MHA, M.S., is at the forefront of the next generation of research methodology: pragmatic trials. Pragmatic trials are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in real-life practice, speeding up the time from discovery to implementation.  

Dr. Unroe, along with Regenstrief faculty member Susan Hickman, PhD, is leading one of few pragmatic trials funded by the National Institute on Aging. The APPROACHES (Aligning Patient Preferences – a Role Offering Alzheimer’s patients, Caregivers, and Healthcare providers Education and Support) trial is being conducted in 150 nursing homes, testing an intervention to support advance care planning.  

She is also part of the IMPACT Collaboratory, a research incubator to develop pragmatic trials and train researchers to design and execute them.  

In 2021, Dr. Unroe spoke at a conference about pragmatic trials in long-term care facilities. The event identified priorities and best practices for trials taking place in these real-world settings. 

Dr. Unroe says she is excited about the potential of pragmatic trials for creating solutions as well as creating partnerships between researchers and healthcare systems.  

In addition to being a research scientist in the IU Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute, Dr. Unroe is an associate professor at the IU School of Medicine and a practicing geriatrician. 

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