Notice to Specify High-Priority Research Topic for PAR-19-070 and PAR-19-071

Notice Number: NOT-AG-18-057

Key Dates
Release Date: January 2, 2019

Related Announcements
PAR-19-070
PAR-19-071

Issued by
National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Purpose

This Notice of Information specifies a high-priority topic of interest for PAR-19-070 "Research on Current Topics in Alzheimer's Disease and Its Related Dementias (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)" and PAR-19-071 "Research on Current Topics in Alzheimer's Disease and Its Related Dementias (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)".

Behavioral and Social Science Priority Areas in Dementia Caregiver Research

This Notice directs applications to AD/ADRD high-priority research areas as set forth by the National Institute on Aging’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research (see https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/behavioral-and-social-research-areas-alzheimers-disease).

Alzheimer’s disease directly affects as many as 5.1 million people in the United States. The extensive care needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) are highly variable and care typically involves great demands on spouses and other family members, when they are available. Family caregivers may experience both adverse health consequences (e.g., disrupted sleep, anxiety, depression, and compromised immune function) and economic hardship as a result of lost work and care expenditures. The challenges of caregiving may lead family members to seek institutional (nursing home) placement for persons with AD/ADRD in place of informal care. For those families that either partially or fully use formal care options, the costs of such services are significant and often uninsured. How families organize resources to support formal care can affect the health and well-being of both the caregiver(s) and the care recipient with AD/ADRD.

This Notice encourages basic and translational research on caregivers for individuals AD/ADRD, at the individual, family, community, and population level. Of particular interest are observational studies and interventions that focus on the need to reduce caregiver burden and improve patient outcomes; population- and community-based research on the scope and impact of AD/ADRD caregiving; improved characterization of informal caregiving and the burden of caregiving across the full spectrum of the disease, including differences among socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, sexual and gender minority, and geographic sub-populations; and research addressing the unique challenges related to the provision of advanced AD/ADRD care, including disparities in access to high quality healthcare for both caregivers and persons living with dementia.

This Notice encourages all Stages of behavioral intervention development research (Stage I, II, III of the NIH Stage Model)for interventions that promote the health and well-being of caregivers and individuals under their care, with the expectation that basic science research will be infused throughout each of these stages. It is also expected that behavioral intervention development research will help to lay the groundwork for the design and testing of pragmatic trials and real-world implementation. To these ends, clinical trial research aimed at creating or adapting/modifying interventions for the real world are expected to examine the principles underlying these interventions, develop methods to ensure real-world fidelity of delivery, and develop training procedures for the people in the community who will be delivering the interventions.Applicants are referred to the Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development: https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/stage-model-behavioral-intervention-development.

Care and caregiver support intervention research can be for implementation in the home, community, or any formal care or clinical setting. Interventions may be designed to target behavioral, psychological, interpersonal, social, or institutional processes, and they may be focused on the individual, family, dyad, group, community, or health systems level. Applications may propose intervention research for any stage of AD/ADRD. Applicants should specify the disease stage(s), the setting/context, and the population being studied. High-priority topics in this area of research include, but are not limited to:

  • Connections between interpersonal dynamics within families or couples and caregiving quality and outcomes in health and well-being;
  • Constraints and consequences in the use of formal alternatives to informal caregiving;
  • Economic consequences of caregiving on familial well-being and health;
  • Improved assessment of caregiving processes and their impact on families and individuals;
  • Risk, protective, and resilience factors related to elder mistreatment and interventions to prevent or detect elder mistreatment in informal care settings;
  • Non-pharmacological interventions to treat disorders related to caregiver stress or burden;
  • Development and testing of technology to enable aging in place, engage persons with AD/ADRD and their caregivers, and to reduce hospitalization, emergency room visits, and admissions to long-term care facilities; and
  • The demography of AD/ADRD caregivers.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Melissa S. Gerald, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-3136
Email: geraldmel@mail.nih.gov

Lisa Onken, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-3131
Email: lisa.onken@nih.gov