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Populations and Health Problems

Chronic Disease and Disability
The management of chronic disease now consumes about 70 cents of every Health care dollar spent in the US, and this figure is expected to rise as the population ages. Although traditionally chronic disease research has focused on biological outcomes, new research has suggested the need to expand our views of "management" to include a host of emotional, behavioral, social role, and quality of life variables in our conceptualization of disease management. Interventions that target the social context in which disease management takes place are beginning to emerge and show positive effects. Research areas include:

Determination of common problems of disease management across different diseases;
Demography, epidemiology, and social and economic costs of disability;
Impact of provider characteristics on clinical outcome;
Impact of moderators (age, SES, gender, ethnicity) on intervention trials; and
Determination and measurement of appropriate outcomes.

In July 2001, Dr. Gaylene Becker received $1.2 million from the National Institute on Aging for a study "Age, Ethnicity, and the Chronically Ill Uninsured".  The aim of this four year, qualitative study is to explore how chronically ill, uninsured people in three minority groups (African Americans, Latinos, and Cambodian Americans) attempt to manage their illnesses.  Emphasis will be on understanding access to and utilization of health care resources, both formal and informal, including the effect of economic status and financial resources on illness management.


Links:
Institute for Health and Aging
Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies


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